On view

American, b. 1964
Mirror Fence, 2003 (refabricated 2014)
Starphire mirror and aluminum
36 in. x 4 in. x 138 ft. (91.4 cm x 10.2 cm x 42.1 m)
Gift of the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, with generous lead support from Roberta and Steven Denning. Additional support provided by The Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Schwartz.
© Alyson Shotz
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
The individual pickets of Alyson Shotz’s Mirror Fence share their shape and height with picket fences enclosing front and back yards all across the United States, but Shotz’s fence is reflective and extends in a straight line, enclosing nothing. Shotz has commented on the irony of the acceptance of the picket fence—it is an innocuous, everyday element in American life, but it serves a protective purpose: each picket is topped with a spike.

Shotz, who studied Geology before becoming an artist, engages the fleeting realities and subtleties of vision and perception in her work. “I’m interested in making objects that change infinitely, depending on their surroundings,” she has noted. “The light at different times of day, the weather, the seasons… all these are just some of the variables that will make the piece different every time one comes in contact with it. For me an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable in some way.”