KAWS For Thought With Australian-First Exhibition At NGV

19 September 2019

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is awash with colour after the arrival of more than 100 works by contemporary art icon KAWS.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley was at the NGV today to preview its latest exhibition, KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness – the first Australian solo show by artist Brian Donnelly, otherwise known as KAWS.

The US artist began his career in street art before taking the international art and design world by storm.

Emerging from the early 1990s New York street scene, KAWS has garnered a global following with his bright and humorous work that explores hope, humanity and vulnerability.

The exhibition will explore KAWS’ 25-year career, including works in advertising, paintings that reinterpret pop-culture characters and his celebrated characters in the form of figurines and large-scale sculptures.

It also includes a 22-foot sculpture, titled GONE. Commissioned by the NGV and displayed in Federation Court, it is the largest bronze work KAWS has created.

The main exhibition will be presented alongside KAWS: PLAYTIME, a free children’s exhibition that brings KAWS’ famed “BFF” character to life through interactive experiences that encourage play and imagination.

The exhibition focuses on themes of generosity, support for others and compassion. It is expected to be another major drawcard for the NGV, with thousands of local, interstate and international visitors of all ages expected through the gallery’s doors.

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness will be on display from 20 September 2019 to 13 April 2020 at NGV International, St Kilda Road.

For tickets and further information, visit ngv.melbourneExternal Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“As KAWS’ work continues to attract attention throughout the art world and beyond, we’re proud the NGV will exclusively present his first ever Australian solo exhibition.”

“Creativity is one of the great drawcards to Melbourne – exhibitions like this help build Victoria’s reputation as a creative and cultural capital, and attract visitors who pour millions into our economy.”

“This exhibition also delivers an important message about the need for community connections – I’m sure it will bring people of all ages and backgrounds together.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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