David Klein Gallery, 1520 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, is pleased to announce the opening of Kenny Scharf, an exhibition of paintings from 1999 – 2018. This is Scharf’s first exhibition in Detroit. A reception for the artist will take place on Thursday, September 6th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
Kenny Scharf is widely known for his pop culture murals, paintings, sculpture, and installations. Scharf considers himself a “Pop Surrealist”. As Scharf states: The images come from the unconscious except that my unconscious is filled with Pop imagery. My unconscious is Pop, so therefore, the art would be Pop Surrealist.
In the early 1980’s, Scharf was a prominent member of the East Village art scene along with his friends and contemporaries Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Scharf participated in many significant exhibitions in New York at that time including the Times Square Show, Club 57 at Club 57, the Open Studio Show at P.S.1 and the 1985 Whitney Biennial. Most recently, Scharf was included in Club 57: Film, Performance and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983 at the Museum of Modern Art and Fast Forward: Paintings from the 1980’s at the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York, NY. His murals can be found in multiple cities in the U.S. and abroad, including Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Wynwood, FL; Careyes, Mexico; Paris, France; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Malaga, Spain.
Scharf’s Detroit exhibition will feature a number of seminal works including Handy Andy, 2008, Bearjungle, 2010, and Probz, 2018. As a child growing up in 1950s and 60s, Scharf was intrigued and inspired by popular TV culture, especially the saturated color and imagery of daytime cartoons like The Jetsons and The Flintstones. These characters and the wildly imaginative landscapes they inhabit have had a profound influence on Scharf’s work. The cartoons’ playfulness and sunny optimism continue to a provide a foundation for his best work.
Scharf’s work is in numerous public and private collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the Sogetsu Museum, Tokyo, Japan and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Kenny Scharf lives and works in Los Angeles.