Jim Shaw

decade

1950s

1952

Jim Shaw is born in Midland, Michigan.

decade

1970s

1971–74 1971

1972

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw meet while undergraduates at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1973

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw put up flyers around the university publicizing fake lectures. When students would show up, they would engage in “guerilla style” performances including The Futurist Ballet.

1974

Jim Shaw earns his BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1974

Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, and Jim Shaw cofound Destroy All Monsters, a proto-punk band.

1974–76 1974

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw live in a house, located at 741 Packard Road, that they call “God’s Oasis.” It also serves as Destroy All Monsters’s practice space.

1974

Jim Shaw recounts how his friendship with Mike Kelley evolved into the band Destroy All Monsters, which in turn developed into a "continuum" of collective music and artistry.

1975

Cary Loren, Jim Shaw, Ron Asheton, Mike Kelley at the Second Chance, Ann Arbor (performance of New Order), 1975. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Cary Loren, Mike Kelley, John Reed, and Jim Shaw in the basement of God’s Oasis, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1975/2011. Gelatin silver print on fiber paper; 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 61 cm). Photo courtesy of the artist.

1975

Destroy All Monsters, "That's My Ideal," 1975, featuring Mike Kelley (vocals and percussion) and Jim Shaw and Cary Loren (guitar).

1976

Photo of God’s Oasis in The Ann Arbor News, Wednesday, June 23, 1976. Pictured from left: Marju Nemvaltz, Rick Greenvald, and Jim Shaw on the porch; David Owen and Mike Kelley on lawn. Photo: Larry E. Wright. Image courtesy of the Ann Arbor District Library.

1976–79 1976

Cary Loren publishes a magazine called Destroy All Monsters, which includes ephemera and artwork by Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, as well as shots of the band and artist collective.

1976

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw leave Ann Arbor for California to attend CalArts for their MFAs.

1970s 1976

During their CalArts years, Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw live together in a house in Sylmar.

1976

Mike Kelley makes a portrait of Jim Shaw based on a photograph taken of Kelley, Shaw, and John Reed as undergraduates.

1978

Jim Shaw self-publishes The End Is Near with the help of Danna Ruscha, Ed Ruscha’s wife.

1978

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw earn their MFAs from CalArts.

decade

1980s

1981

Jim Shaw self-publishes Life and Death: A Non-Narrative Narrative with the help of Danna Ruscha, Ed Ruscha’s wife.

1987

Danna Ruscha is included in Jim Shaw’s video Billy Goes to a Party.

decade

1990s

1990

Danna, Ed, and Paul Ruscha help publish the book version of Jim Shaw’s Thrift Store Paintings.

1991

Jim Shaw, Untitled (2 Figures in Teargas) from the aestheticized disaster series, 1991. Graphite on paper; 16 ¾ × 13 5/8 in. (42.5 × 34.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.51.6. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1992

Jim Shaw, Untitled (Bikini H-Bomb Test) from the aesheticized disaster series, 1992. Graphite on paper; 16 ¾ × 13 5/8 in. (42.5 × 34.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.51.4. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jim Shaw, Untitled (Tickertape Parade for Nixon & Eisenhower) from the aestheticized disaster series, 1992. Graphite on paper; 16 ¾ × 13 5/8 in. (42.5 × 34.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.51.12. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jim Shaw, Untitled (Woodstock Garbage Heap) from the aestheticized disaster series, 1992. Graphite on paper; 16 ¾ × 13 5/8 in. (42.5 × 34.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.51.13. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1992

Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw are both included in Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s, an important exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

mid-1990s 1993

Shortly after getting married, Jim Shaw and his wife, Marnie Weber, move into a house up the hill from Mike Kelley.

1995

Jim Shaw has a solo exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery.

1995

The original Destroy All Monsters members (Mike Kelley, Niagara, Cary Loren, and Jim Shaw) reunite for shows in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area.

decade

2000s

2000

The Destroy All Monsters band and artist collective (Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, and Jim Shaw) create an installation of four mural-sized paintings and a video titled Strange Fruit: Rock Apocrypha.

2002

Mike Kelley, Stephen Prina, and Jim Shaw perform in Shaw’s performance The Initiation Ritual of the 360 Degrees at MoMA PS1.

2006

Mike Kelley plays drums in Jim Shaw’s daughter Colette Weber Shaw’s band Dolphin Explosion (with her friend Ariel West) and records and produces the full-length album Boogie Man, which features their artwork on the packaging.

2006

Mike Kelley’s film Day Is Done includes the debut of Jim Shaw’s daughter, Colette Weber Shaw, as Angel Girl.

Photo of God’s Oasis in The Ann Arbor News, Wednesday, June 23, 1976. Pictured from left: Marju Nemvaltz, Rick Greenvald, and Jim Shaw on the porch; David Owen and Mike Kelley on lawn. Photo: Larry E. Wright. Image courtesy of the Ann Arbor District Library.

West by Midwest

Stories

From God’s Oasis to the City of Angels

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