Art + Culture

OY/YO by Deborah Kass is here!

Artist Deborah Kass’ first monumental sculpture OY/YO has hit Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newly-renovated Main Street lawn. Commissioned by Two Trees Management Company and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the work will be on view through August 2016. Get those cameras out because there are many statements to be made. The sculpture coincides and with the artist’s exhibition No Kidding opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea December 9, 2015.

According to the artist statement: “Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings.”

OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. This iteration is a monumental scaled OY/YO, presented in yellow painted aluminum measuring 8 x 17 x 5 ft.

“Just in time for the holidays, three of New York City’s greatest communities come together in peace, love, and OY,” said Deborah Kass.

Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.

“Two Trees is thrilled to bring the extraordinary Deborah Kass’ OY/YO to DUMBO for residents and visitors here and across the river to enjoy,” said Lisa Kim, Two Trees Management’s Cultural Affairs Director. “Art can be found throughout the neighborhood – from gallery exhibits to murals, and OY/YO will be a stunning addition to the waterfront.“ For more information about DUMBO’s art scene, visit artindumbo.com.

“We are thrilled to welcome OY/YO to the newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park President. “Not only will this installation enhance the park experience but it will also be a wonderful addition to DUMBO’s vibrant art scene. We know that park visitors will enjoy it for the months ahead.”

More about Deborah Kass:

Deborah Kass employs the visual motifs of post-war paintings to explore the intersection of politics, popular culture, art history and personal identity. Her celebrated series, The Warhol Project, from the early 1990’s refocused Andy Warhol’s eye for celebrity portraiture. Her work incorporates lyrics from Broadway musicals, movie quotations into canonical formats like Frank Stella’s concentric squares, Ellsworth Kelly’s rainbow spectrum and Andy Warhol’s camouflage patterns.

Kass’ work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jewish Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The New Orleans Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery, among others.

Recent group shows include “Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze” at the National Portrait Gallery, “Come Together Sandy,” Industry City, Brooklyn, 2013, “I, You, We” at the Whitney Museum of American art, 2013, and “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.

Recent solo exhibitions include “feel good paintings for feel bad times,” “MORE feel good paintings for feel bad times” and “My Elvis+” at Paul Kasmin Gallery. In 2012, The Andy Warhol Museum presented “Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After, a Mid-Career Retrospective.” Her historical series from 1998 “America’s Most Wanted” had its first ever viewing in New York at Sargent’s Daughters in May 2015. Paul Kasmin Gallery will present a new body of work “Deborah Kass: No Kidding” in December 2015.

In 2014, Kass was inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Board of the Andy Warhol Foundation and is Senior Critic of the Yale University MFA Painting Program.