Jerry Kearns: To Have and To Have Not

February 1 – March 4, 1989


KENT FINE ART is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Jerry Kearns. The show is comprised of ten large works completed since his last New York exhibition at Kent Fine Art in 1987. Whereas the last show focused on the paradoxes of the Reagan era and the mass marketing of public heroes and villains, the present paintings operate in a more intimate setting. Focusing on media manipulation, cover-ups, cultural heroes and icons, Kearns addresses the alienation between man and his environment.


This year, in addition to a one-person show in Los Angeles and a billboard project in Springfield, Massachusetts, Kearns has recently been featured in numerous exhibitions exploring contemporary issues including: “Committed to Print,” at the Museum of Modern Art in NY; “Comic Iconoclasm,” organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and travelling to Manchester, Dublin, Madrid , Bern, and Denmark; “Unknown Secrets: Art and Rosenberg Era,” an exhibition travelling through 1990; “Agit/Pop,” at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles; “The Social Club,” at Exit Art in NY; “New Visions of the Apocalypse,” at the Rhode Island School of Design; “In Search of the Media Monster,” at the Cleveland State University; “Art and the Law,” a travelling show organized by the West Publishing Company in Minnesota; “Reagan: American Icon,” a travelling show organized by Bucknell University.


Kearns received the Prix de Rome for conceptual sculpture and lived abroad from 1963-68. In 1970 he moved permanently to New York and actively worked towards civil and ethnic reform. This helped form a new agenda for the artist as well as an engaging conceptual arena. Reconciling his aesthetic aspirations with his social involvement, in 1980, Kearns devoted himself full time to painting.