October 10 – November 7, 1992
Jim Shaw, Metro Pictures
1992, installation view
We are pleased to announce the exhibition of Jim Shaw's most recent work at Metro Pictures. The reception will be on Saturday, 10 October from 5 to 7 p.m. and the show runs through 7 November .
His installation includes paintings, drawings and photos. Black Narcissus is a log cabin built inside the gallery where Shaw covered the interior walls with photographs of himself pulling faces. Rather than a traditional reference to self portraits, this claustrophobic space seems like an artist's studio in situ where the creative state of mind is being transformed into a pathetic manifestation of boredom or disgust.
The gallery walls assemble more than 600 paintings. In his manner of controlled obsession, Shaw painted four portraits of friends. Each canvas represents a small unit of each portrait. But instead of installing these paintings in a recognizable order, Shaw places these units randomly. Each portrait appears like a distorted face when Shaw breaks up the continuity which is integral to the concept of representation. While decomposing image painting as a formal process of unification, Jim Shaw undermines the construction of identity.
Shaw pushes this method even further by using computer prints which digitizes his own face to an extend of complete abstraction.
In September 1991, Jim Shaw organized a show at Metro Pictures where he exhibited his collection of Thrift Store Paintings. Shaw was particularly interested in amateur painting since it reflected a "weird gusto that was filtered through American puritanism." Billy, Shaw's fictional character in his extensive series My Mirage represented a prototype of a 1960 generation child born and raised in a bizarre media industry.
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