Scharftopia: The Far-Out World of Kenny Scharf, and Georges Rouault: Cirque de l'Etoile Filante, on view at the Hillstrom Museum of ArtFeb 19, 2018 at midnight to Apr 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Time: Feb 19, 2018 at midnight to Apr 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Works by famed artists Kenny Scharf (b.1958) and Georges Rouault (1871-1958) in exhibits at the Hillstrom Museum of Art

The Hillstrom Museum of Art presents Scharftopia: The Far-Out World of Kenny Scharf, and Cirque de l'Etoile Filante (Circus of the Shooting Stars) (featuring works by Georges Rouault). The exhibitions are on view February 19 through April 22, 2018, with an opening reception Monday, March 12, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Collector Mats Sexton, whose holdings of works by Kenny Scharf form Scharftopia, will give a Gallery Talk in the Museum during the opening reception, at 7:30 p.m. An Artist's Talk will be presented in the Museum by the renowned Kenny Scharf, on Sunday, April 22, at 4:00 p.m.

As with all programs of the Hillstrom Museum of Art, the exhibits and related programming are free and open to the public. More detailed information about Scharftopia and Cirque de l'Etoile Filante can be found below, and general information about the Museum can be found at

Scharftopia: The Far-Out World of Kenny Scharf features large-scale paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and other works by Los Angeles artist Kenny Scharf (b.1958), drawn from the collection of Mats Sexton.

Scharf, who has described his work as "Pop Surrealism," is known for his colorful and fantastical imagery, which he began creating after moving to New York City in 1978. There he became close friends with artists Keith Haring (1958-1990) and Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), the three of them becoming a crucial part of the vibrant East Village arts scene that embraced street art. Scharf, Haring, and Basquiat associated closely with the legendary Andy Warhol (1928-1987), who served as both mentor and friend to the younger artists. Scharf continues to create exhaustively, and in the last several years has garnered renewed attention for works across the range of his career, resulting in solo gallery exhibits last year at New York's Jeffrey Deitch and Los Angeles's Honor Fraser Gallery, an extensive 2016 exhibit in New York at Long Island's Nassau County Museum of Art, and a major installation in late 2015 to 2016 at the Hammer Museum in L.A. And a survey exhibition will take place in 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson.

Collector Mats Sexton has long been an enthusiastic fan of Scharf's vibrant work, first making direct contact with Scharf while writing The B-52's Universe: The Essential Guide to the World's Greatest Party Band (published 2002). Scharf, also a fan of the B-52's, supplied the cover image for their 1986 album Bouncing Off the Satellites; Scharf's large 1983 painting Hypnozen is included in this exhibit. Also included in Scharftopia is the monumental Agua Pollination, 1983, one of the artist's best-known works; an early diptych titled Palm Springs Vacation, painting in 1978 just before the artist moved to New York; and the recent painting Jungle Gym, from 2017.

Scharftopia is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by the Hillstrom Museum of Art, which includes a recent in-depth interview of artist Scharf conducted by collector Sexton, along with an essay Sexton wrote about his connection with the artist and his work. A gallery talk in the exhibit will be given by Sexton at 7:30 p.m. during the opening reception on March 12. Scharf will present a gallery talk at 4:00 p.m. on April 22, 2018.

Cirque de l'Etoile Filante (Circus of the Shooting Stars)

In 1917, French expressionist artist Georges Rouault (1871-1958) entered into an exclusive contractual relationship with Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939), famed Parisian publisher and art dealer. Vollard's driving ambition was to become the greatest publisher of prints and illustrated books, and his collaboration with Rouault proved to be one of the most productive in the history of printmaking. Cirque de l'Etoile Filante (Circus of the Shooting Stars), begun in 1926 and published in 1938, was one of several notable portfolios from their partnership.

The world of the circus had always interested Rouault through its contrast of superficial brightness with the infinite sadness of circus life. The images in the Cirque de l'Etoile Filante portfolio reflect the artist's attempt to strip away the "spangles" of the clown's costume and reveal the "reflection of paradise lost." Seventeen color etchings with aquatint are highlighted in the series, along with 82 wood engravings that illustrate the text, written by Rouault.

This traveling exhibition, organized by the Syracuse University Art Collection, includes all of the aquatints and a selection of the wood engravings and text pages. In conjunction with the exhibit, works by Rouault that were donated to the Hillstrom Museum of Art by namesake Richard L. Hillstrom and Paul and Edna Granlund and that are also associated with the artist's collaboration with Vollard will also be shown.

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