As a newbie to Le Grande Pomme, I had not yet made it out to the New Museum, so this was as nice an introduction as any. I could’ve done without the line that stretched all the way down the block and around the corner on a less-than-balmy 34ºF evening, but hey! That’s what happens when you visit a popular exhibit at a trendy museum in New York on Pay-What-You-Wish night, right? 😉
Either way, the exhibit, the first of its size and scope for Jim Shaw in New York, was bursting with a motley crew of mediums, styles and messages that I fear my mere 90-minute self-guided tour only served as, at best, an introductory primer to Shaw’s work. With that said, Shaw’s movement from oil paintings to pencil drawings to installations to sculptures to postcards to album covers and back again only confirmed an artist who was not only hell-bent on not being confined by the regulations and expectations of conventional society, but by the art world as well.
Thankfully, I took the time to listen to more of Shaw’s thoughts and catalysts behind selections of his work via the audio tour. And I learned quite a bit about the man himself. What I learned was: He and I would never see eye-to-eye on any topics related to sociology, psychology and politics, but he somehow created art that strikes an enigmatic chord with me. Now there’s something to be said for that!
Below are 20-odd photos I took of my traipse through the second, third and fourth floors of the New Museum. Most of the images are engaging; some are shocking, but all are unquestionably art according to Jim Shaw.
Sadly, the exhibit shocked its last patron on Sunday, January 10th before packing up and heading out of town. So if you’ve never had a chance to see Shaw’s work, please feel free to take a gander below, click to enlarge, and ogle the detail. And if you need a little more info on who exactly Jim Shaw is and why you would care about his art, here’s the description provided by the New Museum team:
“Over the past 30 years, Shaw has become one of the US’s most influential and visionary artists, moving between painting, sculpture, and drawing, and building connections between his own psyche and America’s larger political, social, and spiritual histories. Shaw mines his imagery from the cultural refuse of the 20th century, using comic books, record covers, conspiracy magazines, and obscure religious iconography to produce a portrait of the art scene since the 1970s, Shaw has never had a comprehensive museum show in New York. This exhibition, encompassing 3 floors of the New Museum, reveals the breadth and inventiveness of his art. A large selection of his works is presented alongside objects from his collections of vernacular art and religious didactic materials.”