March 24, 2016 -- The Nassau County Museum of Art hosted an opening reception on March 18 for its latest exhibition “Kenny Scharf.” The works, spanning more than thirty years of Mr. Scharf’s career, from the early 1980s through the present, represent a wide range of influences, from the consumer culture sensibilities of Warhol and the cartoonish charisma of the 1980s New York graffiti art scene to the controlled chaos of abstract art pioneer Wassily Kandinsky.
With the rich wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of the Museum’s Gallery A now exposed, the white backdrops having been removed for this exhibit at Mr. Scharf’s urging, visitors are greeted by the artist’s doughnut series - a collection of paintings in which each depicts a different flavor of the delectable dunker hovering in space like a flying saucer. In between are displayed other out-of-this world paintings and sculptures. Dominating the room is Plasomospace, a 8 ft. by 9 ft. canvas, consistent with the room’s sci-fi theme, portraying what appear to be George and Judy Jetson spermatozoon floating among toothy cartoon monsters in outer space.
Gallery B, at first glance, seems to be a room under construction, with plywood paneling and 2x3 pine studs cordoning off two-thirds of the room. Walk through the black curtain, however, and enter the Cosmic Cavern, a club-like black light illuminated neon potpourri of shapes, bean bags, painted small appliances and furniture - a more recent version of the “Cosmic Closet” Mr. Scharf created with friend and former roommate artist Keith Haring in their Manhattan apartment during the early 80s.
The expansive wall mural “Pop Renaissance,” a multi-panel piece that surrounds the viewer covering four walls of Gallery C, integrates modern pop and consumer culture with forms inspired by the works of Italian Rennaissance artist Giovanni Pordenone. In its original incarnation, the piece had covered the ceiling of the Palazza Communiale in Pordenone Italy, as part of an Italian project which showcased contemporary art in historical places.
Throughout Friday’s reception, the affable and down-to-earth Mr. Scharf mingled and chatted with visitors, answering questions about his creations. Museum goers will have another opportunity to meet the artist on June 19 and watch him in action as he creates a work of art on the wall of the Manes Family Art and Education Center - a new addition to the Museum scheduled to open later this year.
The exhibit, which will run through July 10 is being sponsored by Tahari Arthur S. Levine and was curated by Museum Director Dr. Karl E. Willers and museum staff.
Article by Northwordnews
BACK TO WEEKLY