Born in Herington, Kansas (1944). Attended Kansas State University (1963-66). In college studied civil engineering and studio art. Studied the work of Buckminster Fuller. Participated in Summer Theater Workshops at the University of Maine (1966-67). Moved to New York City (1968). Showed with Paula Cooper Gallery (1968- 1991). Begins three-dimensional, two-sided paintings (1970). Purchased a house on Shelter Island, but kept studio in New York City (1971). Took up permanent residence on Shelter Island (1972). Focused on print and papermaking and made over thirty editions between 1971 – 1974. Received Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled in South America for three months (1973). Went to the Ahmadabad retreat in India (1980). Died in Shelter Island, NY (2005). Museum exhibitions include: Alan Shields: Protracted Simplicity (1966-1985), Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2016), Alan Shields: In Motion, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY (2015), Into the Maze, SITE Santa Fe, NM (2014), Stirring Up the Waters, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY (2007); Alan Shields: A Survey, The Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (1999); 1968 – 1983: The Work of Alan Shields, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN (1983), traveled to Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Alan Shields: Paintings and Prints, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (1981). Included in museum collections such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Museum of art, New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, Tate Collection, London, UK, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.