KAWS is making its way to Canada this fall, marking the first time the work is debuted at a Canadian museum. Heading to Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), KAWS: FAMILY features artist Brian Donnelly’s renowned larger-than-life sculptures and paintings of his iconic characters.
The exhibition, which is curated by Julian Cox, AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, features over 70 artworks from the artist’s past two decades. The curation organizations the works in a series of encounters, with families of related pieces installed across the second level of the museum. Amongst these displayed will include the larger-than-life wood sculptures and augmented reality installations. Works in bronze, wood, on paper and canvas, plus toys and stainless steel will be exhibited. Adapting features from popular American cartoons, KAWS figures come in various poses, forms and sizes. At the center of the exhibition is the FAMILY (2021) piece, alongside a painted bronze sculpture featuring COMPANION, a figure with crossed out
eyes inspired by early American rubber hose animations, a bulbous figure named CHUM and a fur-covered character named BFF, posed together in the style of a studio portrait.
In addition to the figures, a selection of of shoe designs, cereal boxes, album covers and a loveseat composed of plush toys made in collaboration with the Campana Brothers showcases KAWS ongoing engagement with commercial design and fashion brands. Julian Cox said, ““KAWS reminds us that art can be many things at once – -priceless, useful, commercial, beautiful, familiar, thought provoking and funny. Like Warhol and Haring before him, KAWS welcomes the viewer with forms that are immediately identifiable, and having caught our attention, confounds with his nuance, pathos and technical skill, encouraging us to consider what is companionship, what is family, what is our relationship to objects.”
The exhibit opens on September 27 until March 21, 2024.
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St W
In other art news, R. Crumb dedicates his new limited edition yoga mat to his late wife.