M I K E  S H A F F E R 








My work is about ideas rather than things but I use a wide variety of materials and approaches to make clear what it is I am interested in and from a historical perspective this has turned out to be lines and linear elements and a substantial selection of objects. I like to strike out in new directions but at the same time build on previous work. I tried for years to limit myself to a few directions but realized that what really captivated me was the whole art picture—the theoretical and philosophical concepts that question what art is and what it is all about.

Much of my work is based on a fundamental format—linear elements as grids or as structures having components ordered along the height-width-depth (x-y-z) axis. In two dimensions lines and grids predominate and in three-dimensions I assemble nonrelational objects such as pipes, boards, sticks and construction lumber into lattices and towers as well as found and common objects into free standing and wall-hung works. I want to call attention to the works in their entirety and the ideas behind them but not on the materials. I want people to become aware of the message I am offering but not the messenger.

Concentrating on Ideas,
From wholeness and order to uncommon order—conventional meets conceptual, Statement 1, Introduction. Second Edition, 2008, One-page pdf file.

Directions and Order, Extracting order out of chaos—adopting a large focus in spite of the drawbacks, Statement 2, Commentary. Second Edition, 2007, One-page pdf file.


The New Line Paintings, Linear elements in gestural fields and orchestrated arrlays, Statement 3. Eleventh Edition, 2007, One-page pdf file.

The Towers Series, Objects of length stacked into log cabin-like structures, Statement 4. Third Edition, 2007, One-page pdf file.

The Companion Works, A novel series of drawings provides considerable detail about an even larger body of work, Statement 5. Sixth Edition, 2005, One-page pdf file.

The Expansion Works, Found object sculptures created not by design but by simple intent—nature imitating art, Statement 6. 15th Edition, 2004, One-page pdf file.

The Lattice Systems, Sculptural grids—a mix of the obviously simple and the inordinately complex, Statement 7. 12th Edition, 2000, One-page pdf file.

The Objets Trouvé Series, Treasured objects take the form of sculptural paintings—or are they painted sculptures? Statement 8. Ninth Edition, 2000, One-page pdf file.

The Contrived Notions, Painting with objects—experiments and prototypes for larger projects designed to show what happens when objects are used as if they were paint. Statement 9. Eighth Edition, 2006, One-page pdf file.

The New Portraits Series, Photographs altered to address issues of identity and recognition, Statement 10. Second Edition, 2007, One legal-size page pdf file.

The Small House Works, Small sculptures examine nuances that convey the character of "Houseness." Statement 11, 2nd Edition, 2008, One-page pdf file.

Grids and Lattices, The horizontal-vertical format together with grids and lattices is fundamental in two-dimensional visual arts today. Statement 12, 4th Edition, 2008, One-page pdf file.

The Tables Series, Exploring the concept of wholeness with recognizable objects.
Statement 13, 5th Edition, 2008, One-page pdf file.

Large-Scale Sculpture, Architectural and modern, linear elements are stacked horizontally into towering networks of color and form. Artist Statement 14, Second Edition, 2009, One-page pdf file.


Information and descriptions of three small books, Crossing Lines, Facing Identity Theft and Chaos x Order = Infinity, Seventy to seventy-two pages each, 5.5 x 4 inches, various dates and editions, 2007 - 2008.