Swiss Institute - Contemporary Art
exhibitions news








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 both 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.

Jim 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 O-ist Thrift 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.

Influenced 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.