Almine Rech Shanghai is pleased to present Earth, Kenny Scharf's third solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first in China.
In the early 1980s, in pursuit of his hero Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf moved from Los Angeles to New York at age 19. There, Scharf met Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and a group of like-minded artists. Together they brought Pop Art to the streets, put Warhol's "Soup Cans" onto the stage and started a new movement.
Scharf's work resorts to pop culture and the politics of graffiti, but unlike Basquiat or Haring, his graphic motif and forms were inspired by cartoons such as The Flintstones Season (1960) and The Jetsons (1962). Not only did he retain the narrative in the animation, but in many cases, the paintings portray fragments or parts of an animation. In Scharf's fictive imagination, seldomly are there human characters; instead, cartoon animals, plants and unidentified species form a self-contained eco-system. Bright colors like red, yellow, blue, green and purple are combined to create a strong Pop and Surrealistic undertone.
- Lu Mingjun, curator, Young researcher at School of Philosophy, Fudan University