Karen Shaw is a multi-media artist residing in Dutchess County and New York City. In the early1990s, she read The End of Nature, a book by the environmentalist Bill McKibben that changed the creative focus of her work. His writing on climate change made a profound impact on her work.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about how our air and water were being corrupted. To keep my anxieties in check I began to make drawings and installations about global warming.”
It led her to create a multimedia installation comprised of video, objects, and drawings, including the three which are on view in this exhibition. Over the years the works on paper deteriorated and echo the deterioration of today’s environment.
“As I was drawing the molecules (of greenhouse gasses) I free-associated to dominoes, dice and piano keys for a bit of whimsy to offset the seriousness of reactions in the atmosphere and to emphasize the gamble we are taking by doing so little. It is sad to think that in 30 years we are still debating carbon emissions. Although the car models are different today the images are still, (alas) relevant.”
Karen Shaw’s art work is in national collections, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery, Portland Art Museum and Princeton University’s Firestone Library.