The Southwest School of Art is pleased to present FIAT, a solo exhibition by the Brooklyn-based artist Sylvanus Shaw, on view from August 30 through December 9, 2018. Fiat features drawings culled from hundreds of waxpacks, reminiscent of vintage trading cards. By packaging his drawings, the artist looses track of content in a literal way, creating a reserve of fungible artwork, modeled after the fiat currencies of banking reserves and the speculative excitement that emanates from an un-opened pack of collectible cards. To reenforce his loss of agency and the active role of a presumed collector, the artist removed himself from the curatorial process, conceded the framing, card groupings, and display of FIAT to others. Sylvanus began making cards at the age of nine, inspired by Garbage Pail Kids, baseball cards, and Bikkuriman Devil vs. Angel seals. Small drawings have factored heavily in the artist’s practice ever since. The humble format is an ideal place to experiment; to do things that would be impracticable, superficial, or confusing at a larger scale; to wear other hats, other masks, even other artists; to document his studio practice in miniature, multiplicable ways. To date, the artist has created over 10,000 cards, packaged in annual editions.
In addition to the solo exhibition at the Southwest School of Art, Sylvanus’s work is currently on view in group shows at Building 98 Marfa, TX and, from September 6th, at Here SoHo, NYC. Sylvanus has exhibited widely, including at the Spring/Break Art Show, Salon Art and Design Fair, International Fine Arts and Antiques Dealers Show, International Art and Design Fair, the National Arts Club, as well as a solo exhibition at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in lower Manhattan. In addition to painting and drawing, Sylvanus designs furniture under the brand LYVETH. His writings have appeared in Aufgabe, Zingmagazine, SpringGun Press, Lilies and Cannonball Review, and elsewhere.
Shown: Sylvanus Shaw, Waxpack Cards, 2018. Courtesy the artist.
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