Kenny Scharf



Kenny Scharf

Things (9/40), 2023
Archival pigment ink print with silkscreened high gloss varnish and diamond dust on Innova Etching Cotton Rag 315 gsm fine art paper
52.50 x 42 in
Contact for Price
Inquire


Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf (born November 23, 1958) is an American painter known for his participation in New York City's interdisciplinary East Village art scene during the 1980s, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Scharf's do-it-yourself practice spanned painting, sculpture, fashion, video, performance art, and street art. Growing up in post-World War II Southern California, Scharf was fascinated by television and the futuristic promise of modern design. His works often includes pop culture icons, such as the Flintstones and the Jetsons, or caricatures of middle-class Americans in an apocalyptic science fiction setting. 

Born in Los Angeles, Scharf moved to Manhattan, earning a BFA in painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1980. In the East Village of the 1980s, Scharf began his trademark Cosmic Caverns, immersive black light and Day-Glo paint installations that also function as ongoing disco parties. The first was known as the "Cosmic Closet" and was installed in 1981 in the Times Square apartment he shared with Keith Haring.  They exhibited a six-minute video called "The Sparkle End" (1980) in the landmark 1980 Collaborative Projects exhibition The Times Square Show. In 1982, Scharf participated in the group show Space Invaders at New York's P.S.1. 

Scharf also had important shows at Fun Gallery (1981) and Tony Shafrazi (1983, 1984, 1985), before seeing his work embraced by museums, such as the Whitney, which selected him for the 1985 Whitney Biennial.  Art scribe Demetria Daniels writing in Downtown Magazine said about his work that it... "leaves you with hope, joy, play and optimism, and a sense of love...." 

From then his career took off and he had international exhibitions such as with Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich (1985) and the Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo (1986, 1988). In 1987, Scharf designed a swing carousel for André Heller's Luna Luna, an ephemeral amusement park in Hamburg with rides designed by renowned contemporary artists.

In 1996, Scharf designed a room called the Cosmic Cavern at the Tunnel nightclub in Chelsea. This expanded to a website called Total Cosmic Cavern," which had a chatroom, and users could choose an avatar to explore Scharf Galaxy where each planet was based on one of his paintings. 

In 2015/2016 Scharf had a one-person exhibition at the Hammer Museum. And, in 2017, he mounted "BLOX and BAX", his latest one-person exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles (his fifth with the gallery). Also, in 2017 his work was featured in the large group exhibition "Fast Forward: Painting From the 1980s" at the Whitney Museum. Scharf's work was included in the October 2017 exhibition "Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

Scharf's work is included in public collections such as the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey, Mexico; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Sogetsu Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. 

The documentary Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, was released in 2020. It was directed by Max Basch and Malia Scharf. 

Read More
822 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
USA
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the GooglePrivacy Policy andTerms of Service apply.
822 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
USA
Copyright © 2024, Art Gallery Software by ArtCloudCopyright © 2024, Art Gallery Software by ArtCloud