Jim Shaw

  • Jim Shaw, The Jefferson Memorial, 2013, acrylic on muslin, 12 x 22'.

    Jim Shaw

    IN ART SCHOOL, we are handed a sort of “carney” attitude toward the world—us against the rubes. We’re told that, in our exalted place as outsider observers, we have a unique take on reality that those caught up in its daily routines can’t see. But every time I try to comment on the world using some “new” aesthetic arena, like hairdos, clothes, film, etc., I find there’s someone in that domain who has already done more interesting things with it than I could ever come up with. Every time I work in the realm of comics, for instance, I discover a whole raft of artists who have done it

  • Mike Kelley, Untitled, 1975, two-color etching with aquatint, 18 x 23 1/2".

    Jim Shaw


    WHEN I FIRST MET MIKE, in art school at the University of Michigan, the only thing that was apparent was that we were the two weirdest guys there. As I got to know him better, though, it became obvious that Mike was one of the most naturally gifted painters I would ever meet. Over time, his intellect would come to dominate the various scenes we were involved in. But initially his facility for drawing and coloration set him apart. As a student, his inspirations (de Kooning, Jim Nutt, weirdos) shone through heavily, and I suppose that was why he came to disown most of his undergrad work

  • Eleanor Antin, 100 BOOTS Move On, 1972, black-and-white photograph, 8 x 10". From the series “100 BOOTS,” 1971–73.



    David and I arrived in Solana Beach, a coastal town north of San Diego, after driving cross-country from New York in an old beat-up Caddy with our one-year-old son, Blaise. Robert Kennedy was dying of gunshot wounds in an LA hospital after winning the California primary, and it was twenty-four hours after Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol back in New York. A hot sunny day in June 1968, and there were huge juicy oranges in the back garden. A year later Manson and company went on their rampage in the Hollywood Hills, and the Hells Angels went on theirs at Altamont a couple of months


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2006.


    “Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul” (Museum of Modern Art, New York) In a rather cynical mode, I trudged uptown one day last spring to see the Munch show at MoMA for what I thought would be a cliché-ridden overview of Nordic gloom-goth. What I got instead was a hard punch to the gut: powerful color, radical ideas about the depiction of memory as space, paintings with emotional vanishing points rather than rational optical