Alan Shields’s work is known for its riotous colours and varied media, and the work he created with Kenneth Tyler at Tyler Graphics is no exception. Born in Kansas in 1944, Shields studied at Kansas State University and the University of Maine Theatre Workshop before being awarded a Guggenheim study scholarship in 1973. Shields’s work is influenced by America’s indigenous Indian culture and this is reflected by the use of beading and weaving throughout his work. Shields first worked at Tyler Graphics in 1978 and has worked there extensively ever since.

In 1984 he created his Lattice paper mixed media series of prints which are represented in the National Gallery’s collection. To create this series Shields used highly unorthodox practices: he designed 11 different paper varieties—two of which featured window–like openings, and six of which were lattice shaped—created nine different printing elements, and used at least four different printing methods. Each work consists of three layers of paper, glued, stitched or tied together after printing.
Emilie Owens

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Last updated January 2017