Mitch Shiles  

 A Certain Shape

October 5 - October 30, 2016

Opening Reception Friday, October 7, 6-9 pm

Curator: Ting Liu


T+H Gallery is pleased to announce A Certain Shape, a solo exhibition of recent and new work by ceramist and sculptor, Mitch Shiles.  A Certain Shape includes 3D work comprised of numerous materials created with computer-aided methods and ancient crafts techniques. Shiles’ sculptures often interact with viewers through sound, light, and motion.  A Certain Shape is on view at 460 Harrison Ave, C19 & C20. 

Shiles’ work frequently starts with a question about an object or idea, i.e. why do we greet certain objects with trust while others with suspicion?  Why does the perception of time with an object affect the perception of value for the same object? Why are we deluded by objects and materials bearing only facades?  Shiles’ work acts as a mechanism to investigate these kinds of questions and as a vehicle to explore his intuition and emotive forces - the powerful forces that shape how people arrange and curate their lives.  The rationale behind these influences is an afterthought – only considered, if at all, once the feeling has taken shape. 

A Certain Shape also harkens back to Shiles’ biology textbook; the flat schematics of a frog’s internal organs, its peach colored kidneys, bright purple intestines, and pale blue veins.  The colorful and organized drawing of the frog is at first appealing and sensible, yet the reality of dissection proves otherwise.  Once open, the frog is a pale and pasty tangle of shriveled organs.  Its insides are only infused with color for pedagogical purposes – the veins injected with blue dye.

Shiles examines microscopic molecular mechanisms found in the same textbook.  These forms are represented by abstracted squiggly shapes and transform when they interlock.  In A Certain Shape, Shiles focuses on the things that cannot be seen, and yet are still defined with color, form, and sound.  By borrowing language from mid-century design, biological models, vibrant diagrams, and highlighting material, Shiles brings about indiscernible forms that elicit attraction, and contain uncertainty in their complex realities.

Mitch Shiles received a MFA in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2014.  He recently taught ceramics at Harvard and currently teaches at Mass College of Art and Design.  Shiles is also an artist in residence at the Washington Street Art Center in Somerville.  His work is shown nationally.