venerdì 31 luglio 2015


Patricia Low Contemporary
Parkstrasse 3780 - Gstaad 1/8/2015 - 12/9/2015

Patricia Low is pleased to present new paintings and sculpture by Kenny Scharf. In his paintings, Scharf presents recognisable objects and repeated shapes or stripes each executed with the same vibrancy, energy and an innate humour. Four of the paintings depict brightly coloured iced donuts, one of America’s stodgy staples, surrounded by a virtual galaxy of slightly smaller treats or hovering dominantly above a splattered background. This series of work began in 2005 with Donut Jamboree a large scale layered painting that collaged together elements of popular culture via a range of painting styles and surfaces including silkscreened media images, acrylic paint and glitter. Since making this work the donut has become a recognisable trademark of Scharf’s practice as both part of his pop-graphic language and a shorthand motif for mass consumerism. These paintings are a visual celebration of a physical confection with a feel good surface that belies the connotations of America’s love hate relationship with junk food and obesity.
Untitled, Blah Blobs, and Jello-orbz depict amorphous shapes overlapping and bumping up against each other, they have the appearance of globules of liquid mercury in jelly bean colours. Re-Blobz, however presents similar shapes with cartoon faces referencing Scharf’s early paintings of well known cartoon characters (The Jetsons and The Flintstones) and giving a glimpse into what he has described as ‘1960s pop filtering into his painting’.
In Squirtz, Scharf brings his characters into gestural 3D form cast in seductive fibreglass capturing a startled cartoony figure coated with a saccharine shell. The fact that this model is assembled on top of a Lazy Susan again nods back to suburban American culture.
Scharf’s work is at once personalised and depersonalised as he imbues iconic everyday objects with a glossy larger-than-life status and takes an obvious pleasure in making these candy coloured paintings; yet in elevating the banal subjects or pop aesthetics to centre stage he automatically highlights the superficiality of their very nature.

Kenny Scharf came to prominence as part of the ‘East Village art scene’ in the early 1980s and coined the phrase ‘pop surrealism’ to describe his paintings and sculpture. He showed twice at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery which, during its five year run, also hosted exhibitions by Scharf’s contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others.
Public collections include Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Holland; Sogetsu Museum, Tokyo; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Ludwig Museum, Cologne.
Selected solo exhibitions include KENNY SCHARF, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York (2016 upcoming); Born Again Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles , (2015); Kenny Scharf Colette, Paris (2014) WeHo Walls: MOCA Public Library Mural West Hollywood, CA. (2011); California Grown, Pasadena Museum Of Contemporary Art, Pasadena, CA (2004) Kenny Scharf: Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills; (2000) Pop Surrealist Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL. (1997)

Image: Mystical Cruller Object, 2015. Oil & Diamond Dust on Linen, 48 x 60 Inches