The Inky Depths/The Woman in the Wilderness
15 October - 12 November 2005
Metro Pictures will present The Inky Depths/The Woman in the Wilderness, an exhibition of drawings, paintings, and sculptures by California artist Jim Shaw. The exhibition includes new drawings that continue Shaw's "O-ism" series, as well as works that reflect America's penchant for lurid imagery in news, advertising, consumer packaging, Christian iconography and video games.
The first room of the exhibition will contain 25 framed drawings of pages from an O-ist religious comic book called "Hole in One." O-ism is a fictional religion created by the artist in 2000, described as a parallel-universe Mormonism that promotes the worship of a nameless female deity represented by an 'O' and the belief that time marches backwards. Over the years Shaw has created an assortment of historical and cultural artifacts for O-ism, including artworks, secret rituals, musical instruments, comic books, a film, and an archive. The series was the subject of the exhibition 'O' at the Magasin Center of Contemporary Art, Grenoble, France and the Kunsthaus Glarus, Germany, 2003-2004; and a solo show at the Swiss Institute, New York in 2002.
The Metro Pictures exhibition also features a faded 79-foot-long theater backdrop of a jungle landscape. The canvas is over-painted with "culturally exotic" vignettes that draw upon depictions of women in pre-censored Hollywood films like King Kong and men's adventure magazines, as well as images ranging from the character Shrek to the 9/11 cityscape and Abu Ghraib Prison. Sculptures in the exhibition will include a life-size Barbie package painted with a landscape, and a likeness of Shaw drowning in quicksand, an image dreamt by his daughter and copied from a famous comic book cover.
Jim Shaw has exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally since the late 1980s. Among his previous series are "My Mirage," (1985-1990), which follows the experiences of a fictional boy named Billy as he grows up during the 1950's and 60's; and "Dream Drawings" and "Dream Objects," (1991-2000), featuring recreated imagery and art objects from the artist's dreams. Shaw's Thrift Store Paintings were first shown at Metro Pictures in 1992 and were also exhibited at the ICA London in 2002. A traveling retrospective of his work was on view at Casino Luxembourg; MAMCO in Geneva; and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999-2000. Shaw's work has been represented in major survey shows of Los Angeles artists including Helter Skelter at MOCA Los Angeles, 1992; and Sunshine and Noir, a traveling exhibition originating in 1997 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Shaw attended the University of Michigan and California Institute of the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife artist Marnie Weber and their daughter.
For more information, the public can call 212 206 7100, or visit www.metropicturesgallery.com.
Gallery Hours: 10 am- 6 pm, Tuesday – Saturday. Opening Reception: Saturday, October 15, from 6 – 8pm.
Press Information: Stacy Bolton Communications T: 212 721 5350 E: Mamie@StacyBolton.com