Born in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York
in the mid-1800s, O-ism's beliefs included the notion
of a female deity, of time going backwards, spiritual
transience and a prohibition on figurative art.
Jim Shaw's recent work has focused on inventing a new,
pseudo-religion, O-ism. This autumn, Jim Shaw
will present the work of an O-ist painter, whose
mature work attempted to wed the mythic iconic essence
of late modernism to the demands of his spiritual beliefs.
A fictional historical tableau, The Goodman Image
File and Study will represent the conceptualization
of the iconoclastic controversy within this pseudo-religion.
Shaw will transform the SI into the imagined studio
of a painter torn between the mythical purity of abstraction
and the profanity of the representational image.
Seven circular, large-scale, color-field paintings will
hang on the walls, surrounding a seven-sided circular
complex of filing cabinets. Filed away in the cabinets,
at the center of the gallery will be the O-ist's massive
image file, an obsessively ordered compendium of decadent,
kitch images from the popular press. A circular table,
the O-ist's desk, will reveal to the viewer some of
these protected images. Cloaked in American mythology
of its puritanical religions and of the painters of
the New York School, this exhibition follows Jim Shaw's
inventiveness through another surrogate reincarnation
of the artist.
Shaw's exhibition at the Swiss Institute-Contemporary
Art will open on September 14, which will coincide with
the receptions for the autumn exhibitions of all the
Downtown Not-For-Profit Art Spaces. Also this autumn,
Metropictures Gallery will show a suite of Jim Shaw's
Store Paintings (opening Sept. 20).
In the lounge, the SI will present video work by up-and-coming
British artist MARIA MARSHALL. Concurrently with her
solo show at the Team Gallery in Chelsea, the SI will
present the video work Put Medication in his Pocket.
by Rorschach drawings, genealogical charts and graffiti,
New York-based German painter, ERIK PARKER will make
a special project, for the SI's lobby at 495 Broadway.