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KAWS launches its first major solo exhibition in London

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

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

The exhibition is curated by the artistic director, Daniel Birnbaum. Additionally, a virtual recreation of the show will launch simultaneously (at 15:00 GMT on January 18) in Fortnite, allowing millions of players around the world to experience the exhibit from anywhere. All built by the Fortnite Creative community, players will be able to explore the grounds of the Serpentine and experience KAWS’ artwork and iconic sculptures in an entirely new way.

In addition to the Fortnite collaboration, Serpentine and KAWS will use an app to provide a bridge between the virtual and physical worlds. All of 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 around the world. They can also be shared on social media, making KAWS art visible around the world. The goal 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. In the tradition of Pop Art, 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 exhibits regularly in museums and galleries around the world and his work continues to attract diverse audiences within and beyond the art world and the commercial sector.

KAWS said, “This is an inspiring project for me. I always like to explore 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 of these things come together in a complex exposition 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 be working with such an incredible group of collaborators on this unique project which tests how Serpentine can enter the multiverse. This innovative exhibition builds on other exciting projects bridging art and pop culture and follows CONNECT, special activations initiated with K-Pop group BTS in 2020. This multidimensional project, accessible via virtual portals and physical, demonstrates the remarkable synergies between play, spatial and sensory experience.

The project will be accompanied by an upcoming publication which will include contributions from Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum and American novelist Alexandra Kleeman.

When the project opened, KAWS produced a limited edition. Serpentine has a history of selling editions with artists to raise vital and essential 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 in New York. From the start, his career has been marked by his ability to cross disciplinary boundaries and push our conceptions of what an artist, a work of art, an exhibition, a collector and an audience can be. His long list of projects at 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 in Detroit, Michigan (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Louis, Missouri (2017); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2016) which traveled to Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2017); Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Longside Gallery, West Yorkshire, UK (2016); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015); Center of Contemporary Art, Malaga, 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 from 18 January to 27 February 2022.

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