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June 15th - September 30th, 2019

On its fifth anniversary, La Nave Salinas takes a step forward in its commitment to art and culture and is constituted as a foundation. To celebrate, Lio Malca is pleased to present a landmark exhibition dedicated to the king of Pop Surrealism: Kenny Scharf. The show, titled Universalis, has been arranged in the space with an almost magical quality. 


137 round paintings are mounted on a black background, covering the entire sidewall of La Nave. Upon entering the exhibition the viewer has the opportunity to roam the first floor, which has been transformed into a balcony. From this perspective, the viewer is able to see the entire sidewall and take in the more than 100 hanging works at one time. Upon descending the stairs to the central space, the viewer can see the tondos up close and behold the 2.5m high and 9.5m long mural that Scharf painted especially for the exhibition. 

Patrons of La Nave Salinasare treated to a delirious and transformative show, the most recent work of a truly iconic artist after more than two decades since last exhibiting in Spain. 


All the work in this exhibition has been directly commissioned by the collector and founder of La Nave Salinas, Lio Malca, and show a universe that, through mischief and the complicit wink of artistic anti-elitism, hides a deeper meaning. Beyond the characteristic comic, sarcastic and even terrifying expressions of the tondos, Kenny Scharf reflects upon the purpose of collecting and cataloging complex emotions and expressions. This is an unexpected show that invites the viewer to enjoy, from a new perspective, the hyperbolic style of this seminal American Pop artist. The exhibition is made up of:


  • 137 tondos which measure 177.8cm, 152.4cm, 101.1cm and 50.8 cm in diameter. They are made of spray paint on canvas. 

  • A mural of 9.5 m wide and 2.5 m high spray painted on canvas. 

Making of Universalis

Making of Universalis

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“Many people think that art belongs only to museum walls and galleries. I think it should be everywhere.”.

Kenny Scharf 


Kenny Scharf (California, 1958), is one of the great living legends of the 1980’s New York art scene. Scharf has been credited as the founder of Pop Surrealism. 

He was born in California and settled in New York City in the late 1970s to attend the School of Visual Arts, where he took courses in photorealistic painting, spray painting, video editing, photography, and collage. At SVA Sharf met such important artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. These friendships would inspire Sharf to exhibit his art through any meansnecessary, invading the public space with graffiti, mural making, and the customization of objects that would fill the homes of New York’s avant-garde. Scharf, Haring, and Basquiat galvanized an artistic and cultural movement in the East Village of New York that remains today an essential moment in the history of art. 

Sharf was raised on television, advertising, and cartoons of the 1950s and 1960s. This aesthetic language would continue to inspire Sharf when he began making art as an adult. In New York, he developed an interest in underground comics, graffiti, and the decay and brutality of his East Village neighborhood. 

Kenny Scharf is still creating murals, paintings, and sculptures permeated with the comic imagery of his past. He is well-known for customization of objects such as old airplanes and cars, and his work is exhibited in important contemporary art museums such as MoMA, theNew York Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. 

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