The main reason Jim Shaw's 1991 Metro Pictures exhibition, "Thrift Store Paintings," was one of the most important shows of the decade, other than that it brimmed with dementedly entertaining art, is that it unlocked the doors to scores of dead, forgotten, or otherwise devalued painting genres. It was a gold mine of overlooked pictorial information, a mother lode of untapped graphic imagination and pictorial possibility. Coming as it did when painting was stuck in a Neo-Geo/neo-expressionist cul-de-sac, Shaw's show seemed to open things up. If nothing else, it made the realism, eccentricities, subject choices, and painterly styles of artists as diverse as Karen Kilimnik, Elizabeth Peyton, Laura Owens, Sean Landers, Lisa Yuskavage, and John Currin—all of whom were just beginning to show—make more sense than they might... More >>>