October 7 - November 12, 2010
Jim Shaw (b. 1952 in Michigan, USA) belongs to the generation of American artists that have shaped the cultural west coast of USA during the late '80s till today. His work is interwoven with American pop culture elements that alternate in a structural context of narrative themes.
He is a conceptual artist known for playing cut and paste with styles ranging from Minimalism to monster magazine illustration, through several multipart, quasi-narrative projects: the curation of mostly anonymous thrift store paintings, the recording and translation of his dreams into threedimensional reality, the autobiography of Billy a fictitious adolescent- a project titled My Mirage consisting of numerous works in video, drawing, painting sculpture and print components, and the religious epic Kill Your Darlings, based in the teachings of O-ism, a fictitious American religion (invented entirely by himself). All these narratives are used by Shaw as an invisible structural component to his work.
By juxtaposing the metaphysical associations of Color Field painting with "low" commercial naturalism, then filtering the result through a construction of modern spirituality, the artist engineers a bizarre compendium of compromised attempts at purity. Shaw's new project is a provocative reconceptualization of the high / low divide and a sly critique of modernist painting's quest for "purity".