Gagosian presents “Thinking the Unthinkable,” an exhibition of new paintings by Jim Shaw. This is his first exhibition with the gallery, which announced its representation of the artist in 2021. An opening reception was held on January 12, 2023. The public can view the exhibition through February 25, 2023.
In these works, Shaw reanimates mythological themes through incidents from political history and popular entertainment, outwardly disparate fields that collide here in a dreamlike mélange. The characters that populate these images represent what Catherine Taft, writing for Gagosian Quarterly in 2022, describes as “an American limbo, troubled waters into which the artist wades deeper and deeper.” Shaw elaborates on the exhibition’s iconography: “Strewn throughout are competing symbols, including the mushroom cloud, the pillar, the egg, the alphabet, and the ocean.” The exhibition’s title, which suggests both a psychedelic context and the impossibility of examining our own consciousness, is adapted from Herman Kahn’s 1962 book about nuclear war, “Thinking About the Unthinkable.”
On view: January 12, 2023 – February 25, 2023
What: “Thinking the Unthinkable,” Jim Shaw
Where: Gagosian, 456 North Camden, Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210