Jim Shaw's exhibition of new work titled "The Sleep of Reason" will open at Metro Pictures, 150 Greene Street, on Saturday, September 21 and continue through October 19.
For "The Sleep of Reason" series, Shaw recreated "dream objects" (paintings, sculptures, drawings and photography) culled from artworks that appeared in his dreams. Since 1987 Jim Shaw has documented his dreams in detailed pencil drawings with a written narrative on the back. His phenomenal accumulation of "dream drawings" was published as Dreams (Smart Art Press, 1995) and is the source material for "The Sleep of Reason".
In Dream Object (I went to a party at a loft where I had not met the hostess.....), 1995 (gouache on illustration board), Shaw depicts a landscape of ceramic figurines. In Shaw's dream, he walked into a New York drugstore and saw this and several more of his own paintings. Other paintings in the exhibition resemble the surrealistic distortions of some of the paintings in the artist's widely exhibited collection of "Thrift Store Paintings," or those of well known modern artists or movements. The text in the title of each work begins the description of the dream.
Shaw's earlier extended series of paintings and drawings (1985-1991) "My Mirage" was a coming-of-age tale as told by the artist's alter-ego "Billy," an "everykid" born circa 1950. This series of small-scale works (exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1991) present an imaginary version of an adolescence of psychedelia and pop-culture in the 1960s and 70s. "The Sleep of Reason" offers an alternative fantasy of the artist's subconscious.
This is Jim Shaw's third solo exhibition with Metro Pictures. He has had one-person exhibitions at the St. Louis Art Museum and the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as well as numerous galleries in the U.S. and Europe. His work was included in the 1991 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; "Video and Dream" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; "Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990's" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; "True Stories" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; and "Prospect '93" at the Frankfurter Kunstverein/Schirrn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. Shaw edited Thrift Store Paintings (Heavy Industry Publications, 1990), a catalogue of the artist's collection of second-hand artworks. He attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the California Institute of the Arts and currently lives in Los Angeles.