On the occasion of the 2018 edition of Frieze London, Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present a solo booth of new works by American artist, Jim Shaw, on the theme of current American politics and the US president.
A gilded wallpaper recalls the interior aesthetic of Donald Trump’s Mar A Lago retreat. Its decorative components are distorted renderings of the president’s own face, a repeating pattern that refers as well to the frescoed motifs of Nero’s Domus Aurea, the palace discovered in the fifteenth century which became a rich source of inspiration for the resurgence of the “grotesque” in decorative arts during the Renaissance. This wallpaper provides the setting for Shaw’s stretched backdrop paintings, which in the artist’s idiosyncratic style bring together a wide range of socio-political, art historical and pop cultural references. In Shaw’s hands familiar symbols of American culture are rendered absurd thanks to his irreverent amalgamation of such varied image sources as kitsch advertisements, army propaganda, comic book illustrations and well-known public figures. In one painting, the face of Trump’s attorney Roy Cohn is collaged onto the basset hound mascot of the American shoe brand Hush Puppies. The company logo is reimagined to read ‘Hush Money’. Calling on the visual language of modern America, Shaw creates an eclectic world of commercial and political abundance, a twisted tribute to glorification and grotesquery.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Jim Shaw was born in 1952, Midland, MI and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Recent exhibitions include Michigan Stories: Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, The Broad Art Museum at MSU, Michigan, MI (2018); Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (2017); The End is Here, The New Museum, New York, NY (2016); Entertaining Doubts, MASS MoCA, West Adams, MA (2015); Jim Shaw, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2015); Jim Shaw: The Hidden World, Centre Dürrenmatt, Neuchâtel, CH (2014) and Chalet Society, Paris, France (2013); Jim Shaw’s Dream Drawings, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA (2012); The Rinse Cycle, BALTIC Centre for
Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2012) and Left Behind, CAPC, Musee de’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2010). His work is held in significant international museum collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, amongst others.