Artist: Jim Shaw
Venue: Patrick Painter, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Extraordinary Rendition
Date: November 22, 2008 – January 10, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Patrick Painter Inc is proud to present an exhibition of new works by Jim Shaw at our Melrose location. Currently included in the group exhibition, “Index: Conceptualism in California” at MoCA, “Extraordinary Rendition” serves as the perfect elaboration of Shaw’s work. Comprised of several large-scale works on paper as well as a unique sculpture, this exhibition features many works spawning from Shaw’s own subconscious.
Born in 1952 in Midland, Michigan, Shaw is considered by many to be a hometown hero. He is a true artist’s artist. Attending CalArts in the 70s, his works have since been exhibited at institutions such as the UCLA Hammer Museum, Metro Pictures in New York, and Praz-Delavallade in Paris.
Shaw’s artistic repertoire transgresses mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and video pieces. In 1992, however, Shaw began working on a series of small-scale pencil drawings. In these works, Shaw began to incorporate a visual language from his subconscious. Now over fifteen years later, Shaw’s visual language has developed, resulting in ten pieces that chronicle the highlights from his dream world.
The title of the show, “Extraordinary Rendition”, is CIA doublespeak for the kidnapping and harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists. Many of the pieces contain further references to this doublespeak, such as Untitled Scribble (Abu Ghraib). In this ink and pencil rendition, a woman is portrayed giving the “thumbs up” sign while kneeling next to an indecipherable scribble. These complex sprawls represent a dead body, next to which the woman’s all-American good looks create an odd contrast to the scene.
Another piece, Dream Object (Heather), fuses an ethereal portrait of a woman with the erratic scrolling of pencil marks. The dark loops both encompass the portrait and encroach upon it, creating an interesting visual dynamic. The woman’s face is almost entirely obscured by the spirals, however her hair—spirals themselves—are left untouched.
Throughout the show, a myriad of visual sources are discernable. From popular culture references, such as comic books and pulp novels, to the most prominent source of all, his on dreams, Shaw creates a visual landscape both wondrous and terrifying.