PRINT November 2000


In the late ’80s Jim Shaw went under. Plumbing the depths of his swampy unconscious, he brought back what seems a limitless supply of weirdness. Dreams at night were drawn by day; the idea was that, at some point down the road, he would fabricate the objects from his nocturnal visions, and he fell into what he now calls an addictive circle. The dream project (“Dream Drawings,” 1992–, and “Dream Objects,” 1995–) was conceived as a way to present oneiric artworks without all the baggage of Surrealism. But the obsessiveness with which he pursued that end is pure Buñuel. He describes his state of mind at that time as solipsistic—but this seems a modest, even coy assessment in light of the rich tangle of art-historical and pop-cultural references his work betrays.

Eventually, Shaw got around to realizing his dreams—in three dimensions, as it were. An eye-popping selection of those objects was

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