The Most Important Artists of 2013 (So Far)

10. KAWS

Exhibitions: COMPANION (PASSING THROUGH) at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station (Sep 9, 2012 - Mar 31, 2013), "Ohhh..." at Kaikai Kiki Gallery (May 2 - May 29, 2013), "Giswill" at More Gallery (June 9 - August 26, 2013)

Just when you thought KAWS might ease up, especially on the heels of the announcement that his clothing line, OriginalFake, would be discontinued, he came back with two awesome exhibitions, a sculpture at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and news that he's redesigned the MTV VMA Moonman for this year's awards in Brooklyn. His "Giswill" exhibition at More Gallery in Giswil, Switzerland was on view during Art Basel, giving visitors to the fair a retreat from booths into the world of his larger-than-life wooden sculptures. "Ohhh..." at Takashi Murakami's Kaikai Kiki Gallery had new sculptural and painting variations of familiar KAWS imagery in many sizes, and it showed a lot of measured expansion in his work.

He also released a limited-edition custom Bern Watts bicycle helmet, the "DOWN TIME" catalog from his 2012 exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, a COMPANION (PASSING THROUGH) figure, and an OriginalFake Boba Fett Companion. With the news of KAWS' redesign of the MTV VMA moonman, it's impossible to imagine him letting up (or being left off of this list). KAWS will always be an important, influential artist (no matter what this questionable Banksy interview says), but 2013 is already becoming a very memorable year for him. -Cedar Pasori

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