BROOKLYN, NY.- The Brooklyn Museum
has canceled the spring 2012 presentation of Art in the Streets, the first major United States museum exhibition of the history of graffiti and street art. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, where it is currently on view at The Geffen Contemporary through August 8, 2011, the exhibition had been scheduled at the Brooklyn Museum from March 30 through July 8, 2012.
"This is an exhibition about which we were tremendously enthusiastic, and which would follow appropriately in the path of our Basquiat and graffiti exhibitions in 2005 and 2006, respectively. It is with regret, therefore, that the cancellation became necessary due to the current financial climate. As with most arts organizations throughout the country, we have had to make several difficult choices since the beginning of the economic downturn three years ago," states Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman.
Art in the Streets showcases installations by 50 of the most dynamic artists from the graffiti and street art community, including Banksy (London), Fab 5 Freddy (New York), Lee Quiñones (New York), Futura (New York), Margaret Kilgallen (San Francisco), Swoon (New York), Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles), Os Gemeos (São Paulo), and JR (Paris).
The exhibition is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles where special emphasis has been placed on photographers and filmmakers who documented graffiti and street art culture including Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, James Prigoff, Steve Grody, Gusmano Cesaretti, Estevan Oriol, Ed Templeton, Larry Clark, Terry Richardson, and Spike Jonze. A comprehensive timeline illustrated with artwork, photography, video, and ephemera provides further historical context for the exhibition.
Art in the Streets features several shows within the show. There is a special section dedicated to the Fun Gallery, which connected New York graffiti artists with the downtown art community in the early 1980s. Cocurated by gallery founder Patti Astor, the Fun Gallery installation features the work of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the graffiti artists who shaped the gallerys history. A section dedicated to the seminal film Wild Style (1983), co-curated by the films director Charlie Ahearn, documents its influence on the global dissemination of graffiti and hip-hop culture. The exhibition also features a memorial presentation of Battle Station, a rarely seen work by legendary artist and theorist RAMMELLZEE, and a display of graffiti black books and other historic works from the Martin Wong Collection presented in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York. A highlight of the exhibition is a Los Angeles version of Street Market, a re-creation of an urban street complete with overturned trucks by Todd James, Barry McGee, and Steve Powers.