Two exhibition at Metro Pictures are targeting the brittleness of the American ideal. In the upstairs gallery five new paintings by Jim Shaw take aim at the apotheosized idea of the American family by appropriating vintage imagery from a time when America was purportedly wholesome and collaging them into paintings that drip with biting humor and scathing political commentary. Downstairs, Isaac Julian’s new film “Lessons of the Hour” splices together Frederick Douglas’s most famous speeches into a haunting multi-screen projection. In “What to a slave is the 4th of July?”, Douglas’s most famous speech, he ferociously exposes the hypocrisy of the founding fathers’ ideals in that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all is promised and yet inequality and injustice for many is delivered instead– a plight that seems as veracious now as it was back then. At Metro Pictures through April 13.