The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosts a major survey exhibition of the work of Brooklyn-based artist KAWS (American, born 1974) on view in Fort Worth through January 22, 2017, and traveling to the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, China, March through August 2017. Organized by Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth curator Andrea Karnes in close collaboration with the artist, this presentation features key paintings, sculptures, drawings, toys, and street art interventions to examine KAWS’s prolific career in depth, revealing critical aspects of his formal, conceptual, and collaborative developments over the last twenty years.
Spanning the worlds of graffiti, pop art, and consumer culture, KAWS’s bodies of work are highly charged, each conveying his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times, as well as his agility as an artist. He has primarily looked to and appropriated from pop-culture animations (including The Smurfs, The Simpsons, SpongeBob, Hanna-Barbera, and Peanuts) to form his artistic vocabulary for his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Now well known for his larger-than-life sculptures and hard-edge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS’s cast of hybrid cartoon/human characters, with similarities to popular cartoon figures and logos like Mickey Mouse and the Michelin Man, are perhaps the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. These figures have amicable names—Chum, Companion, Accomplice—and express and provoke an array of human emotions, from sad, overwhelmed, pathetic, and weary, to shy. They reflect feelings and situations we can empathize with in presentations that are balanced with humor, heartening in their cartoon aesthetic.
Major support for KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS is generously provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts, with additional support provided by the Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts and Education and from the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund.
Pre-orders for the exhibition catalogue, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, are now available!
This comprehensive publication tracks KAWS’s work from his early graffiti years to his fashion and design collaborations and monumental paintings and sculptural works. With contributions from Andrea Karnes, Michael Auping, Dieter Buchhart, and Pharrell Williams, this hardcover edition has more than 150 color reproductions. The exhibition KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS will be on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from October 20, 2016 - January 22, 2017. The book will be available in January and will feature installation shots of KAWS’s work in the Modern’s galleries.
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