NEW YORK, NY (February 6, 2012) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce 360, a series of works by French-born, New York-based artist WK, in what will be his second solo exhibition with the gallery, presented in a temporary space located at: 557 West 23rd Street.
360 is a mid-career survey of WK’s work, celebrating the last 25 years of the artist’s career. The exhibition includes series of works on cardboard, paper and panels, as well as large multi-paneled collages, all rendered in WK’s signature stark palette. Additional installations, memorabilia and photographs serve to document his early years and evolution as a street artist.
360 will run from March 8-30, 2013, with an opening reception on Friday, March 8, from 7-9pm. To commemorate this 25 year survey, the first 100 guests will receive a special giveaway, one of three different vintage WK print editions produced by Jonathan LeVine Gallery, each of which has been signed and numbered by the artist. An exhibition catalog will also be available for purchase.
“In a fine art universe where the sum of pictures all comes down to a kind of nature morte, WK is about the life still unfolding rather than the still life. Considered in relation to his studio work, where violence, sexuality, fetish, terror and the devolutionary descent of dehumanization lurk in passages of brutal irony that edge towards sarcasm, the benevolence so evident in WK’s public art must be viewed as coming from a position where creativity constitutes a kind of critique. WK’s romance with the city is not the abiding comfort of an old lover but the frisson of new flirtation constructed of a constantly rejuvenating sense of discovery.” — Carlo McCormick
“It was in the late ‘90’s that we first moved onto Wooster Street in Soho. At that time, walking the streets of a pre-gentrified Lower East Side, East Village and Soho meant that you were certain to encounter one of WK’s striking black-and-white billboard size portraits stretched across the facades of buildings both tall and wide. WK’s work is one of seduction. Whether it’s a sexy and sleek model dressed in leather, or a boxer taking a blow to the head, WK’s work is always iconic and most often erotic. His beautiful portraits of the South Sudanese model Alek Wek integrated into the side of an old gas-station on Prince and Lafayette were for many years the unofficial ‘gateway’ to Soho. Experiencing the visual power and beauty of the work made it clear that WK, and the city itself, were a perfect match.” — Sara & Marc Schiller of Wooster Collective
“Moving to New York in 1997, I was captured by the energy of the streets and what I saw there. WK was one of the artists that caught my attention from the beginning. His life-size portraits were fresh and visceral, they captivated me unlike anything I’d ever seen and opened my eyes to a new way of engaging the public. He was very gracious in taking the time to tell me about his work. It was shortly after that I realized its scope—in the late 90’s, WK ruled New York. His work was up in the biggest spots, more than any other artist working on the street at that time. His energy was something to aspire to. WK pointed us in the right direction, gave tips on how to make the glue, what type of brush and paper to use. He encouraged us every step of the way. WK is one of the true original French/New York artists to push the urban art form and inspire a generation to take it to the next level and for that I am forever grateful.” — Patrick McNeil, FAILE