Renowned Brooklyn-based street artist and character creator, Brian Donnelly (BFA 1996 Illustration), better known as KAWS, presents an exhibition featuring his signature character, Companion, fashioned in wood scaling 18-feet-high. KAWS reinvents pop culture icons in cartoonlike figures marked by puffy hands and X’d out eyes in Along the Way, where wooden bodies embrace in anthropomorphized consolation. KAWS’s At This Time shows Companion standing alone, hands covering face in a backward bent stance of disbelief. Three eight-foot, boldly-colored tondo paintings demonstrate a contemporary marriage between abstraction and figuration. On view at Mary Boone Gallery, 541 West 24 Street, through December 21.
Another current exhibition by KAWS, “Pass the Blame,” features playfully recomposed paintings on unconventionally shaped canvases, as well as fragmented cartoon anatomy and ambiguous character silhouettes. Teeth, mouths, arms and eyes exist on the same plane together yet separately imply characters on the cusp of existence. With lighthearted disintegration, the artist submerges the viewer into an animated world where comic strips and cartoons are an accepted reality. On view at Galerie Perrotin, 909 Madison Avenue, through December 21.
Paving the way for collaborative creativity for over three decades, MFA Art Practice Department and BFA Fine Arts Department faculty member Tim Rollins (BFA 1977 Fine Arts) and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) continue to challenge the notion of individual authorship with “On the Origin,” featuring a new series of large black-and-white paintings and additional works entitled On the Origin of Species (after Darwin). Conceptually derived and inspired by Darwin’s seminal text, On the Origin of Species (after Darwin) intuitively illustrates the evolution of nature and thought processes multiplied, replicated and reproduced throughout the ages. Much like Darwin’s foundation for evolutionary biology, Rollins and K.O.S.’s layered use of repeated patterns nod to notions of growth and continuation. On view at Lehmann Maupin, 521 West 23 Street, through December 28.
Italian artist Domingo Milella (BFA 2005 Photography) presents a series of photographs documenting the frontiers of urban landscape and the oscillating nature of human civilizations caught in the space between ancient and modern times. Albania, Turkey and Italy house landscapes selected as sites of collision where varied evidences of the human lifecycle remain. With an 8×10 large format camera, Milella provides recontextualized commentary on photography disrupting the static nature of timelessness in traditional photographs of ancient artifacts. On view at Tracy Williams, Ltd., 521 West 23 Street, through December 21.
Image: KAWS, Along the Way, 216″ by 176″ by 120″ wood, 2013.