Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context

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Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context explores the work of contemporary artists Simon and Nikolai Haas within the art historical tradition of the carnivalesque. The exhibition is the first to pair the Haas Brothers’ sculptures and drawings with historical, modern, and contemporary masterworks.  

In medieval Europe, the festival of Carnival—like modern day Mardi Gras—was a time of liberation and inversion. Carnival leveled social hierarchies, encouraged free expression, and celebrated behaviors that were usually prohibited. Although the Carnival tradition eventually went into decline, its transgressive spirit survives in artworks that use humor or grotesquery to challenge social norms and destabilize power structures.

This spirit of the carnivalesque, which transcends cultures and time periods, animates the Haas Brothers’ innovative designs. Their bright, beaded beasts, which balance playfulness and gleeful carnality, are the modern-day ancestors of Hieronymus Bosch’s fantastical creatures and Mike Kelley’s scatological assemblages. By merging the realms of craft, design, and contemporary art, the Haas Brothers also demonstrate just how arbitrary the boundaries and hierarchies of the art world truly are. 

The exhibition, which traces the history of the carnivalesque from the sixteenth century to the present, is loosely organized around two themes: The World Turned Upside Down and Bodies and Boundaries. Each section will put historical and contemporary works in conversation with each other and with the Haas Brothers’ designs. Other artists represented in the exhibition include Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Kiki Smith.


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Haas Highlights
Welcome to Haas Highlights, a video series which focuses a lens on the works of the Haas Brothers. Tune in often to catch the latest episodes!

Watch Haas Highlights
 

The Haas Brothers Catalogue
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context, held at the Katonah Museum of Art from March 13 to June 26, 2022. Curated by Emily Handlin. Edited by Nancy Hitchcock. Designed by Caroline Holder.

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The Haas Brothers in Conversation
Twins Simon and Nikolai Haas discuss their boundary-crossing work, their art-historical influences, and the KMA's exhibition, Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context.

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Spring 2022 Newsletter
Accompanying the current exhibitions are a variety of programs and events for audiences of all ages. View and download—or forward to a friend or family member—the KMA's Spring 2022 newsletter (PDF) for more information.

download the  spring 2022 Newsletter (PDF)

 

Exhibition Images

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Artist

Since founding the Haas Brothers in 2010, twin brothers Nikolai and Simon (b.1984; Austin, TX) have spurned arbitrary artistic boundaries and hierarchies, creating a playful and provocative world that merges art, fashion, film, music, and design. Their work explores aesthetic themes related to nature, science fiction, sexuality, and psychedelia in materials that range from brass, porcelain, and fur to highly technical resins and polyurethane.

Their first solo museum show opened in Miami Beach at The Bass Museum of Art in 2018 and their work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. In 2019, they were the recipients of the Arison Award given by the YoungArts Foundation. They live and work in Los Angeles.

They are represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Follow @thehaasbrothers on Instagram.

 

Explore Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context

Catalogue

A fully illustrated catalogue which examines the work of contemporary artists Simon and Nikolai Haas within the art historical tradition of the carnivalesque.

morelessPurchase
Haas Highlights

Welcome to Haas Highlights, a video series which focuses a lens on the works of the Haas Brothers. Tune in often to catch the latest episodes!

Watch Haas Highlights
Spring 2022 Newsletter

Stay informed and connected. The spring 2022 newsletter provides a snapshot of the Museum's collaborations, exhibitions, programs, and events.

Read (PDF)
Checklist

A look at the historical and contemporary works in Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in Context.

Browse (PDF)
Press Release

Constant Carnival: The Haas Brothers in context features artists’ creations historical masterworks.

Learn More (PDF)
Teacher Materials

Explore educational materials which accompany the Haas Brothers exhibition.

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Exhibition Support

The Katonah Museum of Art’s online public programming has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
The Katonah Museum of Art is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
The Katonah Museum of Art’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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Credits

Toughy, 2014, Icelandic sheepskin, cast bronze, ebony, 24 x 14 x 15 inches (61 x 35.6 x 38.1 cm)
Amanda Seat, 2018, Sheepskin, cast bronze, 40 x 44 x 27 inches (101.6 x 111.8 x 68.6 cm), Courtesy of Keith Fox and Tom Keyes
Wavy Jones, 2018, Sheepskin, cast bronze, ebony, 48 x 13 x 13 inches (121.9 x 33.0 x 33.0 cm), Holleman Family Collection, Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Blue Reed, 2019, Glass beads, wire, wood, mixed fiber stuffing, 27 ½ x 18 x 22 inches (69.9 x 45.7 x 55.9 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Humpy Bogart, 2019, Alpaca fur, cast bronze, ebony, 19 ½ x 15 x 29 inches (49.5 x 38.1 x 73.7 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Worm-man Miller, 2019, Glass beads, wire, wood, mixed fiber stuffing, 31 ¼ x 13 ½ x 16 ½ inches (79.4 x 34.3 x 41.9 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Lean Back Nicholson, 2020, Alpaca fur, cast bronze, 14 x 9 x 9 inches (35.6 x 22.9 x 22.9 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Lindsay Faux-han, 2020, Porcupine fur, cast bronze, ebony, 21 ½ x 11 ¾ x 15 inches (54.6 x 29.8 x 38.1 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Shaggy Gyllenhaal, 2020, Nomad Tibetan lambskin, cast bronze, 32 x 12 x 12 inches (81.3 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Simon Bowell, 2020, Beaver fur, cast bronze, 26 x 7 x 10 inches (66.0 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
Tallmala Harris, 2020, Mongolian long pile faux fur, cast bronze, 115 ½ x 40 x 20 inches (293.4 x 101.6 x 50.8 cm), Courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen ©The Haas Brothers
The Haas Brothers photos courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery