Art Events, Monaco

Almine Rech – Monaco | Michael Kagan, until 22 June 2024

Almine Rech – Monaco | Michael Kagan, until 22 June 2024

Almine Rech Monaco is pleased to present Victory Lap, Michael Kagan’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from May 22 to June 22, 2024.
Michael Kagan through his work is paying homage to the ultimate heroes of our time. Astronauts, supersonic fighter jet pilots and, as in this stunning exhibition at Almine Rech, Formula 1 racing car drivers.
The subjects of his spectacular paintings and sculptures are superhumans who brave all obstacles and fears in their obsessive and passionate pursuit of records, speed, excellence, and victory. In doing so they put their own lives on a razor’s edge and galvanize millions of motorsport fans lovers around the globe. Their multicolored helmets and racing outfits further emphasize their status as superheroes.

Monaco is the ultimate setting and the most prestigious venue in the history of Formula 1. There could not be a more appropriate setting and time to present, for the first time, this unique body of new works by Michael Kagan. It is surprising that, apart from the Italian Futurists who celebrated the automobile in their work in the early 20th century, hardly any artists of any caliber have focused on this fascinating world. In the more recent past, the German photographer Andreas Gursky is one of the few exceptions.
I had the privilege of selling a gorgeous astronaut sculpture by Michael Kagan at an amfAR gala auction during the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. It took off like the rockets that take astronauts into space and after heated competition between several collectors, sold for a record price and raised badly needed funds for the AIDS charity. The group of works exhibited here will enter many distinguished collections around the world, and thanks to Michael Kagan, will remain a unique artistic and timeless tribute to our human pursuit of constantly pushing our limits and surpassing ourselves.
– Simon de Pury
Michael Kagan donated Schumacher II , 2024, to amfAR for the Cannes gala in 2024.

Michael Kagan is a Brooklyn-based artist known for producing oil paintings with large, expressive brush strokes. Kagan explores the physical and emotional journey that accompanies explorers from mountaineers to astronauts. His dramatic paintings depict humans pushing the limits of nature through physical stamina and technology. Michael uses thick, deliberate brush strokes that convey a decisive hand and the power of his subject matter. Kagan believes a painting is perfect “when it can fall apart or it can come back together depending on how you read the image and also how close you are.”
Born in 1980 in Virginia Beach, Michael Kagan received his BA from The George Washington University and MFA from New York Academy of Art, where he also completed a postgraduate fellowship in 2005. Spe- cial projects include a commission from The Smithsonian, two apparel collaborations with Pharrell Williams, and album cover artwork for The White Lies album Big TV, which won an Art Vinyl award for Best Art Vinyl in 2013. He recently had a solo exhibition at Virginia MOCA, Virginia Beach, VA, USA (2019/2020).
Kagan’s work is in the collections of the Hall Collection, Reading, VT, USA; Maezawa Collection, Chiba, Japan; Maki Collection, Tokyo, Japan; Gemini Trust Company, New York, NY, USA; Fidelity Investments Cor- porate Contemporary Art Collection, Boston, MA, USA; Founders Fund, San Francisco, CA, USA; and Jacob & Co., New York, NY, USA among others. He has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. A recent monograph of his work was released in 2019 by ARTBOOK | DAP.


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