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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

World-Renowned Artist KAWS Is Bringing His Large-Scale Pop-Culture Sculptures to the NGV

'KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness' will feature vivid murals, human-size figures and the artist's largest bronze sculpture to date.
By Libby Curran
June 13, 2019
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World-Renowned Artist KAWS Is Bringing His Large-Scale Pop-Culture Sculptures to the NGV

'KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness' will feature vivid murals, human-size figures and the artist's largest bronze sculpture to date.
By Libby Curran
June 13, 2019
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The National Gallery of Victoria's 2019 program continues to pull in the big guns, with an ever-growing lineup of internationally acclaimed artists — including Keith Haring and Jean-Michael Basquiat — heading to the gallery. And from Friday, September 20, that list will include Brooklyn-based KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly), who's bringing his instantly recognisable pop-culture sculptures to Aus.

KAWS is best known for his large-scale sculptures, vivid murals and distinctive, pop culture-inspired characters. You're probably familiar with his reinterpretations of iconic figures like Mickey Mouse, Snoopy and The Smurfs, all reworked with those signature Xs over the eyes.

While it's a stable of work that's laced with a healthy dose of humour, this NGV exhibition, entitled KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, is set to focus on the rest of those underlying emotions. You'll get a glimpse at how KAWS celebrates generosity and explores our need for companionship, offering up an antidote to the world's current 'Age of Loneliness'.

KAWS, ALONG THE WAY (2013) photo by Jonty Wilde.

Off the back of solo exhibitions at the Yuz Museum Shanghai and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in 2017, as well as the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation earlier this year, KAWS' NGV presentation promises plenty of never-before-seen goodies. It'll feature a sprawling collection of his pop culture reworkings, human-size figures and collaborative pieces, while a newly commissioned monumental work will be the artist's largest bronze sculpture to date.

The main event will be backed by KAWS: Playtime – an interactive, touch-focused installation centred around KAWS' bright blue BFF character, complete with soft sculptures and a hands-on multimedia game. While it's created for 'children', we'll sure you'll find a few kidults exploring it, too.

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness will run from September 20 2019–March 1 2020 at the NGV International, Melbourne.

Top images: KAWS, CLEAN SLATE (2015) and SURVIVAL MACHINE (2015) photo by Jonty Wilde; KAWS, NEW MORNING (2012).

Published on June 13, 2019 by Libby Curran

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