Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jim Shaw at the New Museum

Jim Shaw's survey exhibition at the New Museum, The End is Here, was one of the most impressive shows John and I saw in New York.
 The huge exhibition took up three floors. We began at the top with an installation, Labyrinth: I Dreamt I was Taller than Jonathon Borofsky, 2009. We'll be seeing many more of Shaw's dreams on the floors below.
Shaw painted flat stage props with a mix mash of art historic, comic book and pop culture creatures. 
 Shaw also painted his visual obsessions onto enormous vintage theatrical backdrops.
Some of Shaw's stage flats. 
He also mixed small free-standing sculpture into the arrangements. Fun.
 Shaw used the next floor down to display his collections of eccentric pop culture ephemera. His strangely touching collection of amateur yard sale and thrift shop paintings filled half the floor. 
 Zany enough?
Shaw filled the other half of the floor with cultish religious paraphernalia
 Shaw filled the vitrines in the centre of the room with wildly eccentric magazines and books.
The posters on the back wall depict extremes of religious experience including a variety of endings for the world. 
Here John has caught me between a Masonic display of racist ethnic portrait busts. 
 and Shaw's collection of Christian religious albums.
Oh, I forgot. Shaw got so interested cults that he started his own, Oism -- the virgin who gives birth to herself. A video by the stairs interprets the cult in dance.
 A visitor admires Shaw's Dream Object (Digestive tract sculpture), 2007.
 Dream Object, ("In a dark mansion I'm looking for some herbal tea…"), 1996.
 Fantasy paperback book cover art by the artist. Dream Object: Paperback cover (Daniel playing with this ferret thing"), 2013
Dream Object: Paperback cover ("The photos begin to show a hit man/secret agent…the agent fights with his father, drowning him in the flooded men's club. By the end I was the agent & I had to stuff the father's body under one of the red leather armchairs."), 2013
Near the end of the retrospective we loved this recent painting, Seven Deadly Sins, 2013.
A typical detail from Seven Deadly Sins, 2013. We recommend this Jim Shaw's The End is Near -- on until January 2016.
We were booked for a tour of Donald Judd's studio so scurried off into the street. We love how SANAA architects put the floor of the lobby at exactly street level -- fun to see the inside and outside connected this way.


  1. Ultra zany, like walking through a strange dream.

  2. Wonderfully wild, Shelley. You would have loved it! Bill