KAWS Launches His first Major London Solo Exhibition 




The artist KAWS launches his first major solo exhibition in London, NEW FICTION, KAWS (Brian Donnelly b.1974) at the Serpentine. It will feature new and recent physical and augmented reality works from 18 January – 27 February 2022. 

Brooklyn-based KAWS is considered one of the most innovative artists of his generation

The exhibition is curated by Artistic Director, Daniel Birnbaum. In addition, a virtual recreation of the show will launch simultaneously (at 3 pm GMT on 18 January)in Fortnite, allowing millions of players from all over the world to experience the exhibition from anywhere. All built by the Fortnite Creative community, players will be able to explore the Serpentine’s grounds and experience KAWS’ artworks and his iconic sculptures in an entirely new way.

In addition to the Fortnite collaboration, Serpentine and KAWS will use an app to offer a bridge between the virtual and the physical worlds. All the paintings and sculptures in the exhibition and a miniature version of the entire show will exist as AR works on the Acute Art app and can be placed and viewed at home by viewers globally. They can also be shared on social media, making KAWS’ art visible worldwide. The aim is to explore new visual media and reach larger and more diverse audiences.

Brooklyn-based KAWS is considered one of the most innovative artists of his generation. Within the Pop Art tradition, he has created a prolific body of influential work, engaging young people with contemporary art. He straddles the worlds of art and design to include street art, graphic and product design, paintings, murals and large-scale sculptures. KAWS regularly exhibits in museums and galleries internationally and his work continues to appeal to diverse audiences within and beyond the art world and the commercial sector.

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KAWS said: “This is an inspiring project for me. I always like exploring new mediums for my art. I became interested in working with AR when I realized the quality that can be achieved now. Then came the invitation to work with Fortnite. Now all these things come together in a complex exhibition in parallel realities.

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director and Bettina Korek, CEO, Serpentine said: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director and Bettina Korek, CEO, Serpentine said: “We are thrilled to work with such an incredible group of collaborators on this unique project that tests how Serpentine can enter the multiverse. This innovative exhibition builds on other exciting ventures bridging art and Pop culture and follows CONNECT, special activations initiated with the K-Pop group BTS in 2020. This multi-dimensional project, accessible through virtual and physical portals, demonstrates the remarkable synergies between gaming, space and sensory experience.”

The project will be accompanied by a forthcoming publication which will include contributions by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum and the American novelist Alexandra Kleeman.

On the project’s opening, KAWS has produced a limited edition print. Serpentine has a history of selling editions with artists to raise vital and core funds for the gallery.

KAWS (Brian Donnelly) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1974 and received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. From its onset, his career has been marked by his ability to cross disciplines’ boundaries and push our conceptions of what an artist, artwork, exhibition, collector, and audience can be. His extensive list of projects in renowned institutions includes solo exhibitions at— The Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo (2021), The Brooklyn Museum, New York (2021); The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2019); Fire Station, Qatar Museums, Doha, Qatar (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2019), Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri (2017); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2016) which travelled to the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2017); Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Longside Gallery, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (2016); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain (2014); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas (2013); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2013); High Art Museum, Atlanta, Georgia (2011); and Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2011).

KAWS NEW FICTION  Serpentine North London 18 January – 27 February 2022. 

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