Simon Lee Gallery and Zuecca Projects are delighted to present a joint exhibition of works by Jim Shaw and Marnie Weber at Squero Castello in Venice, Italy. Shaw and Weber's works span a wide range of artistic media and visual imagery, from the detritus of American culture to the surreal worlds of fantasy and folklore, both drawing from the subconscious as a source of artistic creativity. Parallel to the theme of The Milk of Dreams, the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, both Shaw and Weber transform the personal, the commonplace and the uncanny into dreamlike narratives and magical worlds that reveal the mysteries of our subconscious and imagination.
Jim Shaw and Marnie Weber grew up in the booming economic landscape of postwar America. In the 1970s both artists began creating character-based works inspired in part by this culture of abundance. In 1972, Shaw moved to Los Angeles where he attended CalArts with Mike Kelley, forming a band called "Destroy All Monsters". Similarly, Weber rose to prominence in the Los Angeles punk music and performance scene in the early 1980s, co-founding an art rock band called "Party Boys" which then inspired the artist to give countless theatrical performances. solo art rock in the late 80's and 90's. At the time, Los Angeles was a hotbed of innovation filled with rock and roll influences that brought a non-traditional touch to both Shaw's and Weber's artistic practice.
Shaw is famous for his wacky storytelling and the sharp wit with which he brings his dystopian, albeit strangely familiar, universe to life. Extracting and merging American stories, 20th century cultural wastes, conspiracy magazines, obscure religious iconography, mythologies, children's stories, images from advertising, cartoons and his personal memories and collections, Shaw's seductive and darkly comic works there they invite reflection on social issues and systems of economic power and subjection. The works in this exhibition show Shaw's ongoing commentary on the grotesque nature of late capitalism in contemporary American society. One Percent for Art (2020) highlights the art world's tolerance for iniquity and the growing inaccessibility of culture to those belonging to a lower socio-economic bracket: the irony of the artist's participation in what he perceives as a poisonous art world system that preaches cultural access to status and wealth.
Exhibition opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00