The M HKA presents a major solo exhibition featuring one of the most influential artists in the United States: Jim Shaw. His idiosyncratic imagery is infused with references from popular American culture. In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on the tension between conservative and progressive mindsets. The Ties That Bind highlights the core motifs of Shaw’s practice and showcases his most recent work.
Since the late 1970s, Jim Shaw has been developing a multifaceted and exciting body of work that includes paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, drawings, films, and musical performances. Pop art, comic strips, Hollywood films, caricatures, and other forms of Americana culture form integral elements in his work, intertwined with aspects of religion, folk beliefs, leisure culture, and amateur arts. His profound critical exploration of the construction of values and beliefs is complemented by an incredibly rich visual imagery.
For the very first time, his recent body of work is being displayed on a grand scale in his first solo exhibition in Belgium. The internationally acclaimed cult artist actively collaborated on the exhibition and is also creating a new large-scale audio-visual work especially for the M HKA.
The Ties That Bind juxtaposes intimate ensembles of photographs and drawings with imposing immersive installations. Rather than providing a traditional overview, this exhibition brings into focus the artist’s fundamental themes. Hair, dominant male figures or household appliances: these are themes that Shaw has returned to almost obsessively throughout his career. The Wig Museum, for example, comprises a series of wigs of all kinds of historical figures, forming almost a mini-exhibition of its own.
The Ties That Bind immersers the viewer into Jim Shaw’s allegorical world, where tradition and innovation, pop culture and politics, and social criticism and humour are intricately interwoven.
Curator: Anne-Claire Schmitz
9.02 – 19.05.2024
M HKA, Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen
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