M HKA gaat digitaal

Met M HKA Ensembles zetten we onze eerste échte stappen in het digitale landschap. Ons doel is met behulp van nieuwe media de kunstwerken nog beter te kaderen dan we tot nu toe hebben kunnen doen.

We geven momenteel prioriteit aan smartphones en tablets, m.a.w. de in-museum-ervaring. Maar we zijn evenzeer hard aan het werk aan een veelzijdige desktop-versie. Tot het zover is vind je hier deze tussenversie.

M HKA goes digital

Embracing the possibilities of new media, M HKA is making a particular effort to share its knowledge and give art the framework it deserves.

We are currently focusing on the experience in the museum with this application for smartphones and tablets. In the future this will also lead to a versatile desktop version, which is now still in its construction phase.

Exhibition: Jim Shaw — The Ties That Bind

M HKA, Antwerp

09 February 2024 - 19 May 2024

Installation view Jim Shaw The Wig Museum The Marciano Art Foundation Los Angeles 2017 Courtesy the artist and Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation

The M HKA presents a major solo exhibition featuring one of the most influential artists in the United States: Jim Shaw. His idiosyncratic imagery is infused with references from popular American culture. In recent decades, his body of work has increasingly highlighted the growing tension between conservative and progressive ideologies. The Ties That Bind brings to light the core motifs of Shaw's practice, presenting his latest work alongside a selection of earlier works.

Since the late 1970s, Jim Shaw has been developing a complex and exciting body of work that includes photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, films, and musical performances. Popular cultural formats such as comics, Hollywood films and caricatures constitute an essential part of his work, as do religion, folk beliefs, leisure culture and amateur arts. His profound critical exploration of the construction of values and beliefs is complemented by an incredibly rich visual imagery. 

The exhibition The Ties That Bind delves into an artistic journey that, in the last five decades, has not only mirrored the shifts in the American cultural and political landscape but also seems to anticipate them. Jim Shaw, like no other, probes the structures of the various value systems that shape society by immersing himself in the realms of politics, the Hollywood industry, amateur art, and his own dreams. For the very first time, Shaw's work from the last decade is showcased on a grand scale in his inaugural solo exhibition in Belgium. The internationally acclaimed cult artist is actively participating in the exhibition and is concurrently creating a new large-scale audio-visual work especially for the M HKA. 

"The Ties That Bind presents itself as a fictional but tangible environment, as a hallucination in which the presence of pillars of Western value systems points to our own thinking, but also to the space that can emerge for a renegotiation of these dominant values."
– Anne-Claire Schmitz, senior curator 

The exhibition presents drawings, paintings and photographs by Jim Shaw alongside large immersive installations that highlight the artist's central themes. Hairstyles and wigs, male figures (including self-portraits) or household appliances: these are themes to which Shaw returns almost obsessively throughout his career. The Wig Museum (2017), for example, presented at the M HKA, is showcased as a museum within a museum, in which a collection of wigs worn by historical figures of power—including French aristocrats and British judges—is elegantly displayed. In addition, a selection of over 145 Study Drawings (2013-2023) are presented that provide an overview of the artist's mental landscape of the last decade. The M HKA is also supporting Shaw in the development of The Electronic Monster and Thirteen Ghosts (2024), a new large-scale audio-visual production.

The Ties That Bind immersers the viewer into Jim Shaw's allegorical world, where tradition and innovation, pop culture and politics, and social criticism and humour are intricately interwoven.


Online platform

Visit jimshaw.ensembles.org to find a wealth of information about Jim Shaw and the exhibition. 



Thank you to National Lottery players; thanks to them, the National Lottery is supporting the exhibition Jim Shaw – The Ties That Bind.

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> Jim Shaw, UFO Photos, 1978. Photography, photograph, 6 × (15.2 × 16.2 cm).

> Jim Shaw, Dream Object ("There was this painted head of Jesus with statues of saints inserted into his face and beard. Then I saw another tortured Jesus with suffering statues inserted"), 1996. Sculpture, styrofoam, hydrocal, foamcoat, acrylic, porcelain, sculpey, balsa wood, 2 x (106.7 x 177.8 x 132 cm).

> Jim Shaw, Octopus Vacuum, 2008. Painting, acrylic on canvas, 492.3 x 717.6 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Dream Object (Irregularly Shaped Canvas: Pained Blake B.; Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner), 2010. Drawing, ink on paper, 162.6 × 94 × 7.6 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Dream Object (Irregularly Shaped Canvas: Muscleman Blake B. struggles to lib mustache; chicken restaurant and Judd sculpture nest), 2010. Drawing, ink on paper, 154.9 × 91.4 × 7.6 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Dream Object (Irregularly Shaped Canvas: Blake’s version on “Laocoon” with vacuum cleaner; pained Brian Randolph; Superman; Jimmy Olson and composite superman version of “Laocoon”), 2010. Drawing, ink & pencil on digital ink jet print, 177.8 × 88.9 × 7.6 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Dream Object (Irregularly Shaped Canvas: Forces of nature; Jim Shaw in pain; Hoover vacuum cleaner; rendered milky fluid), 2010. Drawing, acrylic, ink & pencil on digital ink jet print, 139.7 × 86.4 × 7.6 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Forces of Nature / Multiple Vortexes, 2010. Drawing, ink on paper, 35.6 × 27.9 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Cake (Double Brian), 2011. Drawing, oil on digital inkjet print, acrylic and ink on panel, 37 3/8 x 67 inches (94.9 x 170 cm), 15 x 21 13/16 (38 x 55.4 cm).

> Jim Shaw, Cake (Daniel in Disgust), 2011. Painting, oil on digital inkjet, acrylic and ink on panel, 111 x 99 cm, 40.6 x 33 cm.

> Jim Shaw, The Ties That Bind, 2017. Painting, acrylic on muslin, 167.6 x 157.5 cm.

> Jim Shaw, The Wig Museum, 2017. Installation, mixed media installatioin with lighting and signage: wigs, cloth and wood wig stands; and black-and-white video with audio and monitor, variable dimensions.

> Jim Shaw, Milk Separator, 2019. Painting, acrylic and ink on panel , 106.7 x 121.9 x 2.5 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Gremlins From the Kremlin , 2019. Painting, acrylic and ink on panel , 101.6 x 76.2 x 2.5 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Strange Beautiful, 2019. Painting, acrylic on muslin , 91.4 x 121.9 x 2.5 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Official Portrait (Metaluna Mutant and Beautiful Girl), 2019. Painting, acrylic on muslin, 76.2 × 68.6 × 3.5 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Religious Machine Man, 2020. Painting, acrylic on muslin, 38 x 31 x 1 3/4 inches (96.5 x 78.7 x 4.4 cm).

> Jim Shaw, Mnemonic device #2, Third Stone From The Sun, 2020. Painting, acrylic on muslin, 137.2 x 109.2 cm.

> Jim Shaw, The Bridge, 2021. Painting, acrylic on muslin, 121.9 × 152.4 cm.

> Jim Shaw, Going For The One, 2022. Painting, oil and acrylic on muslin, 152.4 × 152.4 × 7 cm.

> Jim Shaw, The Electronic Monster and Thirteen Ghosts, 2024. Installation, variable dimensions.