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Casino Luxembourg


Jim Shaw, Distorted Face, 1984. Huile sur toile. Collection Cameron Striewski, Los Angeles. © Christian Mosar.

8.5 — 4.7.1999

Jim Shaw – Everything Must Go 1974–1999

artist(s): Jim Shaw
curator(s): Noëllie Roussel, Fabrice Stroun

From 8 May to 4 July 1999, Casino Luxembourg presents Everything Must Go 1974-1999, the first retrospective exhibition of the work of Jim Shaw, an American artist born in 1952 in Michigan and living in Los Angeles.

Everything Must Go 1974-1999
will include the main creation periods of Jim Shaw: the works realised at the University of Michigan (1974-1978), including works of the Destroy All Monsters period, an experimental rock group that Jim Shaw had founded with Mike Kelley in the 1970s; artists' books and photographic works; the Distorted Faces (1981-1984), a collection of black and white paintings and drawings showing the distorted portraits of celebrities and others, published in a booklet that apes the "National Enquirer," and the main series of drawings and paintings: My Mirage (1986-1991), Dreams (a series begun in 1993), Black Narcissus (1992), a collection of 300 photographs, showing the artist making grimaces, and the Thrift Store Paintings, a series of 350 paintings found in thrift stores, that Jim Shaw has been collecting for about 25 years.

In his famous series My Mirage, which consists of more than 170 drawings, paintings, sculptures, comic strips and videos, Jim Shaw is recounting the adventures and setbacks and relating the desires, obsessions and traumatisms of Billy, a young white middle-class American teenager, caught in the hurly-burly of the 60s and the 70s. Being partly the alter ego of the artist, Billy remains nevertheless an imaginary character looking for the meaning to give to life, religion, sexuality.

Shaw's Dream series began as a meditation on the adherence to the Surrealist revolution and the effect of solipsism. This reflection then evolved into a parallel system of dream documentation and the realisation of dreams of artworks into "Dreams come true". Some of the documented dreams have been gathered together in an anthology with the title Dreams, published by Smart Art Press (1995).

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The exhibition is organised in co-production with the MAMCO. 


Jim Shaw, Distorted Face, 1984. Huile sur toile. Collection Cameron Striewski, Los Angeles. © Christian Mosar.