A fixture of the L. A. art scene for more than 30 years, Shaw was part of the famous coterie of CalArts graduates that included Tony Oursler, John Miller and Mike Kelley, whom Shaw had known previously when the two performed together as part of the alt-rock art band, Destroy All Monsters, in Ann Arbor, MI. Much as Kelley did, Shaw dives into the underbelly of American pop-culture and history to create his work, which spans painting, sculpture and drawing, with the last characterized by meticulous draughtsmanship. Shaw also introduced the genre of thrift-store painting, whose accidental surrealism inspired his art, into the vocabulary of many younger painters thanks to a 2000 exhibition and book. This long overdue East Coast survey, Shaw’s first in a New York museum, should go a long way to introducing his work to audiences outside of Los Angeles.
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