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Blending the reflected cultural climate of his adopted home, Los Angeles, with the multi-layered world of American popular culture, Jim Shaw creates rich dreamlike worlds within distinct bodies of work. Addressing, for the first time, how the artist's oeuvre inter-relates, this substantial monograph argues that the artist's seemingly disparate series actually function together to present a lucid and insightful portrait of America today. Emerging out of the long West Coast shadows of California Assemblage by way of LA Pop and Conceptualism, Shaw’s narrative-driven art marries art history and contemporary existence, as well as literature and comic books, ancient myths and modern movies, science and its variations in popular psychology—not only blurring the boundaries between art and life, but also cultivating that confusion to consider the relationship between fact and fiction that seems to define so much of the world we inhabit today. Giving contemporary viewers an effective way to think about art, this publication is an invaluable resource for those interested in painting today and its interaction with modern life.
About the Author
David Pagel is an art critic and curator. He has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, where he has published more than 2000 reviews, features, and interviews since 1991. Pagel is on the faculty of Claremont Graduate University, and he is an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York. Pagel was the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Contemporary Arts Criticism in 1990 and was a Macgeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2002. He is the author of Unfinished Business: Paintings from the '70s and '80s by Ross Blecker, Eric Fischl, and David Salle.