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Totally Rad: New York in the 80s

Paul Kasmin (10th Avenue)
293 Tenth Avenue, 212-563-4474
July 10 - September 6, 2008
Reception: Thursday, July 10, 6 - 8 PM
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Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to present Totally Rad: New York in the 80s, an exhibition of major paintings, sculptures and works on paper that characterize a decade when New York was the center of a new art world.

In June of 1980, Collaborative Projects organized the Times Square Show, held in a former bus depot and massage parlor, allowing artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Julian Schnabel to exhibit work in the newly-revived city. Institutional support followed from P.S.1 with New York/New Wave, which galvanized the careers of young talent in an unprecedented fashion. Fueled by an influx of wealth and an opulence of spending, the art world became a scene unto itself—in the words of Steven Hager, “underground ideas became marketable commodities, blatant careerism was in fashion, and young painters were rapidly replacing rock stars at the forefront of youth culture.”

Several major, large-scale works from this era will be on view at 293 Tenth Avenue, including Kenny Scharf’s Agua Pollination. In Scharf’s visual language, the two figures, Wilma and Fred Flinstone, “are fertilizing, pollinating.” While thoughts of reproduction permeated his works as the birth of his daughter neared, the painting also embodies Scharf’s interest in utility – art being more than a two-dimensional object to be observed, evidenced as the painting continues beyond the canvas. Agua Pollination is juxtaposed with works such as Frank Stella’s Talledega. Stella emerged in the 1950s with his minimalist, black canvases. Talledega marks a departure from his earlier work, as he embraces spectrums of color and curvilinear forms – consistent with the spirit of 80s exuberance and splendor.

Artists included in this exhibition are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Halley, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Annette Lemieux, Allan McCollum, Robert Longo, David Salle, Kenny Scharf, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Haim Steinbach, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-7440 to see them here.