Jim Shaw: Paperback Covers
Since the 1970s, Jim Shaw has used his multimedia practice as a means of exploring the dreams and conflicted realities of American culture, finding inspiration in comic books, pulp novels, rock albums, protest posters, and thrift store paintings.
This publication focuses on Shaw’s Paperback Covers (1996–2013), a series of works that ape the appearance of cheap paperback book covers in terms of both size and style and reference the tradition of Anglo-American graphic design. In the paintings Shaw depicts dream scenes whose titles shed light on narrative elements. In one, a werewolf in suspenders is struck by an oncoming 18-wheeler; in another, a line of chorus girls dance in front of a vampire and a woman in red as the couple is engulfed by flames. Though these “books” bear no text, Shaw’s paintings evoke fantastical stories within a single image.
The book features reproductions of close to seventy works from the series alongside a collection of seventeen excerpts from imaginary books by Charlie Fox, as well as an introduction by Lionel Bovier and Samuel Gross.