Pantheon: A history of art from the streets of NYC opened this past Saturday, April 2nd with a well-attended reception at the Hilton Hotel. The work of 33 street and graffiti artists is now on view around the clock until April 17th – across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Stay tuned for more information on the closing + catalog launch party. The 300+ page catalog features interviews with all participating artists, crew histories, essays on topics relevant to the history of NYC street art and graffiti, and images from eight contributing photographers (Becki and I included). I’m not normally one to encourage people to visit midtown, but this is one exhibition that is not to be missed – don’t sleep on the crazy 3d collaborative installation by six members of the 907 crew.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: * Abe Lincoln Jr. * John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres * Adam VOID * Cake * Cassius Fouler * Darkclouds * Droid * El Celso * Faro * John Fekner and Don Leicht * Freedom * Ellis Gallagher * Gen2 * Goya * Groser * Richard Hambleton * infinity * KET * LSD-Om * Matt Siren * NohJColey * OverUnder * Oze 108 * Quel Beast * Royce Bannon * Sadue * Jordan Seller * Stikman * Toofly * UFO * Vudu
EXHIBITION LOCATION: chashama at the Donnell 20 West 53rd Street, b/w 5th & 6th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (across from MoMA)
This April brings two exhibitions of note to fans of graffiti and street art, both of which aim to place the movement in art historical context.
In Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art presents Art in the Streets, which bills itself as “the first major US museum survey of graffiti and street art.” The exhibition is expected to include some of the biggest names, past and present. Not surprisingly, the show will benefit from institutional, private and corporate sponsorship.
In New York, a consortium of independent curators, collaborators and artists will mount Pantheon: A history of art from the streets of NYC in a space generously provided by chashama. The mission: “35 graffiti writers and street artists will unite to reclaim the former Donnell Library as a repository of visual information on the growing world-wide phenomenon of street art. This exhibition will present an art historical timeline that is a part of New York City’s unique legacy. The artistic contribution of these cultural catalysts and preservationists from the 70’s to the new millennium will address the ever-changing urban landscape and alternative modes of producing art in the streets.”
The above slideshow, culled from my archive, includes street work from most of the participating artists (incidentally also some of my favorite NYC artists). The list encompasses several decades of working artists, including: Abe Lincoln, Jr., John Ahearn, Adam VOID, Cahil Muraghu, Cake, Darkclouds, Droid, El Celso, Faro, John Fekner, Freedom, Ellis Gallagher, Gen 2, Ghost, Goya, Groser, Richard Hambleton, infinity, Ket, Lsd Om, Matt Siren, Nohj Coley, OverUnder, Oze 108, Quel Beast, Royce Bannon, Sadue, Skewville, Stikman, Toofly, and UFO.
Countless individuals have donated their time, resources and talents to bring this DIY project to fruition. Yet in order to realize some of the project’s major goals – including the publication of a full-color exhibition catalog with previously unpublished interviews and histories from all participating artists – your support is needed. Efforts such as these, to define, document and celebrate the work of a vibrant, yet ephemeral art form, are crucial for the historical record. If you care about this community, please consider giving to the Pantheon Kickstarter campaign – every dollar helps.
PANTHEON: A history of art from the streets of New York City April 2-17, 2011
OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, April 2, 5-7PM Press preview with curators: 4-5PM
LOCATION chashama/Donnell Library Building 20 West 53rd Street, b/w 5th & 6th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (across from MoMA)
If you are not already familiar with the work of chashama, you would do well to start paying attention. chashama “supports thriving cultural communities by transforming temporarily vacant properties into spaces where art can flourish.” One such space, formerly occupied by the New York Public Library’s Donnell Library, has sat empty for over 2 years. With the building scheduled to be demolished next year to make way for a hotel across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, it was ripe for an intervention. On October 29th, chashama launched Windows at Donnell Library with an installation by Garrison and Allison Buxton of Ad Hoc Art entitled Unified Love Movement. The installation features four panels with figures from four of the world’s faiths as well as light installations by Leo Villareal and Scott Draves.
While the installation is viewable around the clock, it is best seen at night – you have until November 28th to make it over to 20 West 53rd Street to check it out. Those of you in San Francisco are encouraged to attend Garrison and Allison’s latest curatorial venture, Till Death Do Us Part, opening at Gallery Heist this Saturday, November 13th.