KAWS: WHAT PARTY
The Brooklyn Museum
From February 26 – September 5th, 2021
As the first New York Institution to present a survey of contemporary artist KAWS’s decades-long career, the Brooklyn Museum is presenting KAWS: WHAT PARTY sponsored by Dior from Feb. 26 to Sept. 5, 2021.
Brian Donnelly, professionally known as KAWS, is set to present his work dating as far back as the 1990s. His well-received figurative yet playful paintings, drawings, and sculptures will be on display in five different sections.
Known to interact often with his followers via social media, KAWS solidified the interactive aspect of his exhibit in his partnership with Acute Art, which allows patrons to digitally interact with his art on their cellphones while viewing augmented reality sculptures, creating a unique aspect to the highly-anticipated mid-career retrospective. An integrated shop featuring KAWS’s products will also be available at the museum.
“While participating in a cultural environment shaped by image and consumption, KAWS simultaneously emphasized the constant presence of universal emotions in his work, such as love, friendship, loneliness, and alienation- an emphasis that is now more important and relevant than ever before,” Eugenie Tsai, curator of KAWS: WHAT PARTY, said in a press release.
Gaining his roots in graffiti art and fame in bus shelters and phone booth advertisements, the first of five sections highlights the earliest work of KAWS, displaying his notebooks and drawings from the 1990s for the first time in the United States. The second section hones in on KAWS’s abstract work inspired by popular cartoon characters, featuring the likes of KIMPSONS and KAWSBOB.
The climactic third section is composed of his newer work inspired by the current social climate, featuring various paintings and an impressive sculpture, while the fourth section calls attention to his collaboration with fashion and industrial designers, creating everything from furniture sketches to toys.
In the final section of the exhibit, KAWS’s career staple, COMPANION, makes an appearance. The newer COMPANION sculptures, featured in the artist’s HOLIDAY project, are paired with never-before-seen short films regarding the project for visitors to view.
Concurrent to the exhibition, KAWS will unveil a new, monumental sculpture to be installed in the plaza at Rockefeller Center in August 2021.