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KAWS: At This Time, Along The Way and Pass The Blame, Now at Mary Boone Gallery & Galerie Perrotin

KAWS, who reinvented the MTV Moonman award this year, has brought us yet another set of Companion sculptures, both fabricated from Afromosia wood and standing eighteen feet high, At This Time (a pair of the figures, heads lowered and one arm on each other’s back) embrace in a pose of gentle solace and Along The Way, Companion standing alone with head arched back and hands covering the eyes. The posture conveys a reluctance to face the world and a withdrawal from what has once already been witnessed.  Three eight-foot paintings complete the exhibition, revealing KAWS’s distinctive mode of advancing the bold colors and streamlined iconography of Pop art. While the paintings are dynamic close-up shapes of the cartoon figures, the close cropping allows them to vacillate between figuration and abstraction.

And if that were not enough, KAWS also has PASS THE BLAME exhibiting at Galerie Perrotin. For this exhibition KAWS is not simply introducing popular references, he is forcing the artworld to accept these as part of what for many is the real world they experienced growing up. As he taps into the popular psyche, he brings to life the very points of fascination, endearing memories, tender associations and identifications with the world of cartoons that for many were profound experiences and just as meaningful as those in the real world. Pulling inspiration from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who found their sources in pop culture, and Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly, who submitted their paintings to a process of abstraction and recomposition that extended to the shape of the canvas, KAWS embraces both worlds of pop and abstraction in a unique and whimsical way.

All pieces are on exhibit until December 21st at Mary Boone Gallery (541 W. 24th St., nr. Tenth Ave.) and Galerie Perrotin (909 Madison Ave., at 73rd St.).

KAWS At This Time and Along The Way

KAWS-Mary-Boone-Wooden-Companion 4

KAWS At This Time and Along The Way 2