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Solo exhibition of work by celebrated New York street artist Richard Hambleton opens in London
Ahead of the Maddox Gallery exhibition, a large show of over 60 original Richard Hambleton works will take over London’s Leake Street Tunnels from 13-15 September.

LONDON.- Maddox Gallery will open a solo exhibition of work by celebrated New York street artist Richard Hambleton in September. It will be the first major gallery exhibition dedicated to the seminal ‘godfather’ of street art, since his death in October 2017 and will feature original pieces as well as limited edition prints.

Ahead of the Maddox Gallery exhibition, a large show of over 60 original Richard Hambleton works will take over London’s Leake Street Tunnels from 13-15 September. The Maddox Gallery exhibition will open on 20 September and see the 4000 square foot Westbourne Grove space entirely dedicated to Hambleton, with further works on display at Maddox Gallery’s flagship location in Mayfair.

Richard Hambleton is renowned for his black ‘shadowman’ silhouettes that graced dark corners, alleyways and walls across Lower Manhattan in the early 1980s. Hailed as the first artist to use the city as a canvas and the first street artist to attract the attention of the lucrative art market, achieving both commercial and critical success, Hambleton was one of the few artists at the forefront of the New York street art movement and often worked alongside contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jointly presented by Andy Valmorbida, art collector and long-time supporter of Richard Hambleton, and Maddox Gallery, Shadowman will feature rare and previously unseen pieces from the Richard Hambleton Archive, early photographic works of Hambleton’s work by Hank O’Neal, plus a series of newly released prints.

Maddox Gallery will also host a screening of Shadowman, the acclaimed documentary by Academy Award nominated director Oren Jacoby that premiered at the Tribeca Film festival in 2017, following Hambleton’s life from the 80s New York street art scene to worldwide fame.

Jay Rutland, Creative Director of Maddox Gallery, says: “We are immensely proud to be working with Andy Valmorbida and the Richard Hambleton Archive to present the Shadowman exhibition. We are honoured to bring this exhibition to London but, more importantly, to posthumously celebrate a creative talent who undoubtedly left an indelible footprint on contemporary art and who inspired many of the artists we represent today.”

Andy Valmorbida from the Richard Hambleton Archive says: “Richard Hambleton was a pioneer of the street art movement in the early 80s and truly paved the way for the phenomenon the genre has become today. I am extremely excited to be working with Maddox Gallery on these major exhibitions of Richard Hambleton’s work, which will tell the story of this remarkable, ground-breaking artist.”

Born in Vancouver in 1952, Richard Hambleton studied Fine Art at the Emily Carr school of Art in Vancouver and began practising as an artist in the late 1970s. At the start of the 1980s, Hambleton moved to New York where he soon became notorious for his ‘shadowman’ wall murals. At the height of his fame, critics revered Hambleton as a definitive American PopExpressionist artist. He exhibited at the Venice biennale in 1984 and was twice featured on the cover of LIFE magazine.

Preferring to stay away from the limelight, Hambleton turned his back on the commercial art world and alienated both art dealers and close friends. He disappeared from the scene whilst battling a severe heroin and drug addiction for 20 years. In the late 2000s, Hambleton was invited to create new work for a major retrospective supported by Giorgio Armani. The exhibition, which toured New York, Milan, Cannes, Moscow and London, was a huge success and reaffirmed his reputation as the original godfather of street art.

Despite his addiction to drugs and a period of homelessness, Hambleton continued creating conceptual work until his death in 2017. He is credited with starting the New York street art movement, paving the way for the commercial success of his contemporaries, and inspiring a new generation of artists including Blek le Rat, who first saw Hambleton’s work in Paris, and Banksy, who has anonymously made his mark on the walls of cities throughout his career.

The Shadowman exhibition will open at the Leake Street arches in London from 13-15 September 2018 and at Maddox Gallery from 20 September 2018

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