KAWS: FAMILY invites visitors to explore the multi-dimensional creativity of American artist Brian Donnelly. Making his Canadian museum debut, the Brooklyn-based artist, better known as KAWS, bridges the worlds of art, popular culture and commerce with sophisticated humour and insightful appropriation. Renowned for his larger-than-life sculptures of cartoon-inspired characters and exuberant hard-edge paintings that playfully emphasize line and colour, much like 1960s Pop artists, he blurs the boundaries between populist and elite art, bringing mass media imagery into traditional art spaces. Straddling the world of art and design, KAWS has forged a large international following both inside and outside the art world.
In this original AGO exhibition, curated by Julian Cox, visitors will see first hand the artists’ meticulous methods, creative process and range, through more than 60 artworks including wall murals, sketches, paintings, sculptures, his altered phone booth advertisements and collaborations. Centered in Signy Eaton Gallery, with interventions throughout the museum, the centrepiece of the exhibition is a larger-than-life painted bronze sculpture FAMILY (2021), featuring four of KAWS’ recurring figures of varying sizes posed as a nuclear family.