UTA Artist Space is pleased to announce its booth for this year’s Seattle Art Fair, featuring two never-before-seen paintings by Nirvana frontman and Seattle grunge legend Kurt Cobain. While obviously best known as a musician, Cobain experimented with painting and drawing throughout his short life, de-veloping an iconography and darkly humorous style mirrored in his music.
At the Seattle Art Fair, UTA Artist Space will present two of Cobain’s paintings, paired with a selection of his notebooks, in the context of his contemporaries in the visual arts, and establish a dialogue between Cobain’s iconic oeuvre, those who influenced him, and those he has influenced–the artistic counterpoint to the hyperbolic, Reagan-inflected ‘80s and yuppie self-help ‘90s Cobain and his peers rebelled against.
In addition to Cobain, the booth will feature works by Mike Kelley, Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Eliza-beth Peyton, Dennis Hopper and Dash Snow among others.
“Kurt Cobain was perhaps the most iconic musician of his generation, but his work as a visual artist is often overlooked,” says Head of UTA Fine Arts Josh Roth. “These paintings provide an opportunity to see him, and some of his contemporaries, in a new light.”
The two paintings of Cobain’s on view in the UTA Artist Space booth have never been exhibited publicly before. Both point to Cobain’s creative energy and wit, and to his efforts to articulate his struggles. The wraithlike, distorted figures and poppy flowers of “Untitled,” for example, point to Cobain’s issues with depression, self-image, and heroin addiction–an image then used by Cobain for the cover of the 1992 compilation album Incesticide. These paintings shed new light, even to fans well versed in Cobain’s work, on the inner life of the man behind the legend.
The debut of Cobain’s artwork and participation in the Seattle Art Fair is the latest milestone for UTA’s Fine Arts division. On the heels of successful exhibitions with Larry Clark, Jake & Dinos Chapman, and Enoc Perez, among others, this September UTA Artist Space will celebrate its one-year anniversary by hosting a new exhibition by internationally renowned sculptors and designers The Haas Brothers. Addi-tionally, UTA Fine Arts has embarked on a number of successful cross-media initiatives, including a partnership with Microsoft to commission major digital works for their flagship New York store on 5th Avenue, bringing in artists such as Tabor Robak to redefine the space. And a new documentary by UTA Fine Arts client Ai Weiwei, produced with the assistance of UTA, will debut nation-wide this November.