Amerikulture, Kenny Scharf & Tseng Kwong Chi
July 26 – August 12, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, July 26th 6:00-9:00pm
East Hampton, NY: Eric Firestone Gallery in collaboration with Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce Amerikulture, a two-part exhibition illustrating the friendship and interconnected creativity of Kenny Scharf and Tseng Kwong Chi, on view at Eric Firestone Gallery at 4 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, New York, 26 July – 11 August, 2013. The exhibition will present recent paintings by Scharf alongside a selection of photographs by Tseng, curated by Scharf. Through painting and photography spanning 30 years, Amerikuluture presents two artists’ interpretation of Americana and its symbolic vocabulary. Whereas Scharf pairs classic symbols of American consumerism with an underlying subversive edge; Tseng thoughtfully composed and captured playful investigations into the identity of downtown New Yorkers during the 1980’s. Scharf and Tseng’s artistic development became entwined in the 1980’s as their friendship led to collaborations. Notably, Tseng photographed Scharf’s art and performances at the Cosmic Cavern A Go Go, Scharf’s studios in New York and in Brazil. Extending their collaboration to today, for Amerikulture Scharf curated a selection of photographs from Tseng’s studio portraits, party and social pictures of the downtown scene that exist almost in infamy. They are uncanny not simply for the personae that populate them but for their austere visionary manner of presentation- the elaborate, over-the-top antics and wild expression of the day rendered with a kind of austere formalism, as if the maximal energies of this unruly downtown gang could constitute a minimalist authority.