Pace Prints is pleased to announce Kenny Scharf, an exhibition of new three-dimensional works in paper by the renowned pop artist. The exhibition will be on view October 10—November 8. A public reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, October 9, 6-8pm.
Kenny Scharf’s signature cartoon-like faces are instantly recognizable. Each three-dimensional face exhibits vivid color and wild emotion. Scharf approaches his series of energetic relief works in a more “hands-on” method than his highly-polished large scale sculptures. Physically modeling the positives for his molds, Scharf works with master papermakers who cast each face out of pigmented paper pulp. Each head is then hand painted. With a beaming Swarovski crystal-bedazzled smile and gleaming eyes, every Pace Face has its own personality.
Though Scharf’s brightly colored imagery is generally playful, serious themes exist beneath the surface, visible upon closer inspection. In his series of large unique works on paper, Scharf sourced 30 years of collected newspaper headlines and advertisements, creating a series of two-dimensional grounds with highly political content. Layering headline over headline, their individual connotations soften in multitude, markedly when paired with Scharf’s signature cartoon faces. This cocktail of manic Pace Face personas and collaged items highlights the artist’s surrealist ideals.
Kenny Scharf rose to prominence alongside his contemporaries Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring in the East Village art scene of the 1980s. One of the first artists to inject elements of street culture into mainstream contemporary art, Scharf has continued to pioneer projects like his Cosmic Cavern— a now legendary all-night DayGlo disco party held in the basement of a Brooklyn warehouse from 2009-2010. Growing up in California in the 1960s, Scharf was fascinated by TV and the era’s conception of the future. The Flintstones and The Jetsons highly influenced his work and figure prominently in his surrealistic pop style, dealing with earth and space, natural and artificial.
Kenny Scharf is in the public collections of the Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum, New York, NY; Eli Broad Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY, and the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, among others. The artist currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California and Brooklyn, New York.