UNTITLED

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Guy Hepner Gallery, New York
    Private Collection
    SBI Art Auction, Tokyo, 22 April 2017, Lot 301
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    KAWS is not just referring to pop culture, he is making it.” (Michael Auping, 'America’s Cartoon Mind', in Where the End Starts, exh. cat., Texas, 2017, p. 63).

    KAWS is one of the most iconic and prolific artists of our generation. An artist, collector, designer and entrepreneur with a multi-disciplinary artistic practice incorporating painting, sculpture and printmaking, his multi-faceted identity reflects the fluid nature of art, technology and contemporary popular culture. Over the years, he has created a unique visual language spanning Pop Art, abstract painting, art history and popular culture, the artist’s shaped canvasses offering a window into his graphic visual world of uncanny cartoon characters and highly abstracted compositions.

    UNTITLED cleverly utilises the circular shape of the canvas, conveying a single eye that directly confronts its viewer. This magnified perspective allows the viewer to visualise a larger character beyond the canvas, creating a presence more imposing and emotionally charged than its domestic size. His use of flat, non-hierarchical application of paint with no visible brushstrokes also instils the work with a highly graphic quality, blurring the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. With a sharp contrasting colour palette of muted grey, bold red and radioactive yellow, accompanied by KAWS’ characteristic cross over the eye alluding to drunkenness or death, the simplicity of the composition allows its colours to take the stage. Through UNTITLED, KAWS shows his innate understanding of the emotional and intellectual force of colour, eliciting undercurrents of angst, unease and even empathy in the viewer.

    Drawing inspiration from popular cartoon characters then stripping them of their familiarity through warped perspectives and abstraction KAWS’ work captures the shifting boundaries between the real and virtual, the personal and public, as he continues to work deliberately to reject the air of exclusivity surrounding art, synthesising elements of high and low culture across all areas of his work.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「KAWS不只是在指涉波普文化,他是在創造它。」(麥克‧奧平(Michael Auping),《美國的卡通心靈》,《始於終點》,展覽畫冊,德克薩斯州,2017年,第63頁)

    KAWS是我們這個時代最具標誌性和最多產的藝術家之一。作為一名藝術家、收藏家、設計師和企業家,通過結合繪畫、雕塑和版畫製作進行多元藝術實踐,他多方面的身份反映了藝術、科技和當代流行文化所具有的流動性本質。多年來,他創造了一種涵蓋波普藝術、抽象繪畫、藝術史和流行文化的獨特視覺語言,藝術家的不規則形狀布面作品為觀者提供了一個通向他那有著不可思議的卡通人物和高度抽象構圖的圖像視覺世界之窗口。

    《無題》巧妙地運用了圓形的畫布,呈現了一隻直面觀者的眼睛。這種放大化的視角讓觀者去猜測畫布之外的一個更大的人物,創造出一種比居家的尺寸更具氣勢和情緒感的存在。他對平整、無層次、無明顯筆觸的運用,也使作品逐漸形成高度圖像化的質感,模糊了具象與抽象之間的界限。柔和的灰色、大膽的紅色和警示性的黃色形成鮮明的對比色,並伴隨著KAWS特有的X眼,暗示著醉酒或死亡,構圖上的簡潔給予了色彩發揮的空間。通過《無題》,KAWS展示了他對色彩在情感上和理智上的力量有著與生俱來的理解,引發觀者心中生起焦慮、不安甚至同情的暗流。

    從流行卡通人物身上汲取靈感,然後通過變形的視角和抽象化處理將其所蘊含的熟悉感剝離,隨著他不斷努力去排除圍繞藝術的排他性,在他創作的各個方面去融合高雅和大眾文化的元素,KAWS的作品捕捉到了真實與虛擬、個人與公共之間不斷變幻的界限。

  • Artist Bio

    KAWS

    American • 1974

    To understand the work of KAWS is to understand his roots in the skateboard and graffiti crews of New York City. Brian Donnelly chose KAWS as his moniker to tag city streets beginning in the 1990s, and quickly became a celebrated standout in the scene. Having swapped spray paint for explorations in fine art spanning sculpture, painting and collage, KAWS has maintained a fascination with classic cartoons, including Garfield, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons, and reconfigured familiar subjects into a world of fantasy. 

    Perhaps he is most known for his larger-than-life fiberglass sculptures that supplant the body of Mickey Mouse onto KAWS' own imagined creatures, often with 'x'-ed out eyes or ultra-animated features. However, KAWS also works frequently in neon and vivid paint, adding animation and depth to contemporary paintings filled with approachable imagination. There is mass appeal to KAWS, who exhibits globally and most frequently in Asia, Europe and the United States.  

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KAWS

UNTITLED

2013
signed and dated 'KAWS.. 13' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
diameter 51 cm. (20 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2013.

Estimate
HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 
€93,000-139,000
$103,000-154,000

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Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019