Jim Shaw's installation contains a plethora of references as well, to historical figures, religious movements, popular culture, and, pointedly, to Judy Chicago's 1979 installation 'The Dinner Party'. Comprising some 25 abstract paintings, the exhibition in the second floor surveys Young's career from 1963 to 1977. 'Organizing Chaos' is a group exhibition investigating notions of chance and determinism including Bruce Newman, John Cage and many more.
Jim Shaw - The Donner Party
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present the U.S. museum premiere of Jim Shaw's large-scale installation The Donner Party (2003). This ambitious work most directly references the Donner Party's ill-fated 1846 journey across the Sierra Nevada mountains in which they were caught in a blizzard and resorted to cannibalism. The installation contains a plethora of other references as well, to historical figures, religious movements, popular culture, and, pointedly, to Judy Chicago's 1979 installation The Dinner Party. The exhibition will be on view in the Third Floor Main Gallery from May 24 through September 24, 2007.
Grounded in Shaw's interest in the influence of religious movements on American society, The Donner Party is the centerpiece of a series based on "Oism", a fictional cult invented by the artist. Supposedly founded by Annie O'Wooten in upstate New York in the mid-19th century, "Oism" trusts in reincarnation, the reverse passage of time, and a female divinity symbolized by the letter "O". The installation's twelve small cloth-covered wagons, arranged in a circular formation, are decorated with 27 tabletop sculptures created from thrift store finds, such as candy-colored place settings, Barbie dolls, toy cowboys, and a vacuum cleaner placed in the middle of a camp fire. Produced in the same collaborative spirit as Chicago's The Dinner Party--which was made by 400 female artists--each sculpture in Shaw's installation was created by a different artist, yet all including an abundance of "Oist" references. On a panoramic theatrical backdrop, Shaw presents a pantheon of real and fictional characters related to the invented cult--including Saint Teresa of Avila, the Norse god Loki, Nation of Islam founder Wallace Fard, and the artist Lynda Benglis.
The P.S.1 presentation also includes the film The Initiation Ritual of the 360 Degrees (2002) and other works from the artist's "Oist" series.
Jim Shaw (b. 1952, Midland, Michigan) has been included in such major exhibitions as the 1991 and 2002 Whitney Biennials, Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992), the 2004 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, and the 2002 Biennale of Sydney. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Casino Luxembourg; MAGASIN Center of Contemporary Art, Grenoble, France; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Frankfurt Kunstverein; and St. Louis Museum of Art. Shaw lives and works in Los Angeles.
Peter Young: 1963 -1977
Peter Young is co-organized by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss and the PARC Foundation Director David Deutsch.
P.S.1 is proud to present a retrospective and the first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum of the renowned American abstract painter Peter Young. Comprising some 25 works, the exhibition surveys Young’s career from 1963 to 1977. The exhibition is on view in the Second Floor Main gallery.
Young has explored the potential for organic elements in abstract painting since the early 1960s. His series of works are based on grids, circles, horizontal lines, curvilinear forms, mandalas, and most prominently, colorful dots. The seemingly rigorous geometric forms reveal a handmade quality when observed up-close—the mathematical blends with the improvised, generating an unforeseen feeling of intimacy.
Approaching the restraint and regularity of minimalism with a certain satirical sense, Young invents his own decorative motifs, drawing inspiration from Neo-impressionist pointillism, 1950s action painting, Costa Rican art, and Oaxacan weaving. Some canvases are stretched on uneven Ponderosa Pine branches, while others are folded to produce Rorschach patterns. Some abandon the canvas format altogether and consist solely of acrylic beads, produced from paint and cut in cross-section to reveal differently colored layers.
Peter Young (b. 1940, Pittsburgh) has exhibited his work internationally since 1968, including Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Dick Bellamy’s Oil and Steel Gallery, and Leo Castelli Gallery. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections including the Albright-Knox Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, Charles Cowles Collection, Arnold Glimcher Collection, Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and American University Museum. Since 1972, Young has lived in Bisbee, Arizona.
Organizing Chaos is organized by P.S.1 Senior Curatorial Advisor Neville Wakefield.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents Organizing Chaos, a group exhibition investigating notions of chance and determinism. Featuring works from the 1950s to the present, the show is particularly focused on the musical scoring of ambiance, the ways in which randomness is scripted into structured systems, and how order is imposed upon the indeterminate. This exhibition is on view in the First Floor Main Gallery from May 24 through September 24, 2007.
Organizing Chaos is physically centered around the Luke Fowler video, Pilgrimage from Scatter Points (2006). The 45-minute piece incorporates archival footage and documentary material about British composer Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra, an improvisational group that utilized found, graphic scores rather than traditional sheet music. Similarly, the exhibition will include Bruce Nauman’s textual component to his 2001 installation Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage). Comprised of a printed log recording the chance events in the artist’s studio, it is a banal yet humorous record.
Also featured is John Cage’s 4’33” (1952), a seminal score of ambient sound in which the musician is instructed not to play for the duration of the piece. Robert Smithson’s Rundown (1969) and Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag (2000) introduce randomness into the natural landscape—asphalt and other molten liquids are poured over a cliff in Smithson’s film, and Marclay’s video records the sonic destruction of the instrument as it is pulled along a road. Other works include installations by Hans-Peter Feldman and Tomoko Takahashi, which both highlight the cumulative power of photographs; a sound piece by Stephen Vitiello that layers barking dogs and firework explosions; and a film of drifting soap bubbles by Rivane Neuenshwander and Cao Guimarães that realizes the abstract forms of atmospheric conditions.
Image: Jim Shaw, The Donner Party, Theatre backdrop painting, 12 covered wagons, 29 tabletop sculptures and camp fire vacuum cleaner sculpture, dimensions variable.
Opening: Thursday, May 24, 12:00PM - 6:00PM
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
22-25 Jackson Avenue - New York