Kenny Scharf: Early Paintings & Preliminary Works

October 27, 1995 - December 02, 1995

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition of early paintings by artist Kenny Scharf. The gallery will exhibit work created by Scharf while he was attending high school and through his formative college years (1975 to 1979).

Kenny Sharf’s reputation for creating science fiction inspired pop art is well known in the art community. Scharf has shown in numerous galleries and museums throughout the world. At present he is participating in three different solo museum exhibitions in the United States and Mexico.

While the public is well aware of the flamboyant, bright, cartoon imagery of Kenny Scharf, few are aware of how his style developed during his high school and college years. This exhibition will expose the origins of themes that are prevalent in his recent creations. Kenny Scharf has been fascinated with the ideas of space travel and science fiction since his childhood. The images in the exhibition range from childhood fantasies to photo realistic paintings of this theme completed for college course work. There will be 12-15 paintings exhibited.

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to exhibit these works and hopes this show will facilitate a better understanding of the artist’s work. Scharf’s unique style has strong associations with the work of artists from movements that have proceeded him. In his paintings we see the direct influence of the surrealists such as artists Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, and Salvador DalĂ­. Scharf’s tightly rendered images of 1950’s Americana are realistically conceived but contain ironical inclusions. For example, Barbara Simpson’s New Kitchen is a portrait of a housewife in her shiny new kitchen petting a fire breathing dragon. In Cadillac Grave Yard, the tails of several 1950’s Cadillacs protrude from an oil pool in the moon.

The exhibition will also include preliminary works on paper and a scale model for “The Kenny Scharf Room,” a new room installation at The Tunnel Nightclub in Manhattan. This project is an adaptation of Scharf’s closet installations as included in the 1985 Whitney Biennial. The exhibition will show steps in Scharf’s creative process, as he creates a complete environment. It is apparent through the works that will be exhibited that Scharf is able to successfully translate his two-dimensional drawings and sketches into three-dimensional objects such as furniture, wall sconces and lighting fixtures. This show will provide an exciting preview to the completed room which will open on November 3, 1995.

Yoshii Gallery is excited to show Kenny Scharf’s early work, for it will allow the public an unusual opportunity to examine Scharf’s creative process and development.