Photo par Vitche © Vitche
From July 7 to November 29, 2009, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain will present Born in the Streets—Graffiti, an exhibition devoted to graffiti and street art.
Occupying the entire gallery space of the Fondation Cartier, as well as the building’s façade and surrounding garden, the exhibition will bring to light the extraordinary expansion of an artistic movement that developed in the streets of New York in the early 1970s to rapidly become a worldwide phenomenon.
Today, graffiti has entered the cultural mainstream, crossing over to the realms of studio art, design and advertising. Yet, despite its immense popularity, this essentially illegal activity continues to evolve at the periphery of the contemporary art world, its origins and history little-known to the general public. This exhibition attempts to sketch the general contours of a subject that is vast and complex,a form of expression that has come to embrace many different techniques, ideas and movements.
Born in the Streets—Graffiti pays tribute to the early days in New York with pioneers such as P.H.A.S.E. 2, Part 1 and Seen, who, along with many others, ushered the movement into the halls of contemporary art as its influence spread across the globe. It also pays tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring who were both, in their own way, born in the streets, but whose careers would ultimatelytake a different path.
Finally, the exhibition will present some of the most brilliant figures on the contemporary scene, including Vitché, Nug, Evan Roth and Barry McGee, reflecting the diversity and complexity of a movement that, somewhere between writing and painting,continues to reinvent itself.
In the first part of the exhibition, a presentation of photographs, films and sketches will explore the birth of graffiti in New York City, from its beginnings in the early 1970s to its entry into the art market and the media world in the 1980s.
The Fondation Cartier has invited three of the movement’s most significant pioneers—P.H.A.S.E. 2, Part 1 and Seen—to create original large-scale wall paintings within the gallery space. Focusing on the importance of documentation in the development of the movement, the exhibition will show how graffiti artists appropriated public space and dynamically transformed their urban environment. Alan Ket (Ket One), a major graffiti artist from New York who has coordinated many publications and shows dedicated to the subject, has served as a consultant for the historical section of the exhibition.
The second part of the exhibition will demonstrate the ongoing vitality of the movement through site-specific works created by a selection of artists from around the world: Basco Vazko (Santiago, Chile), Cripta (São Paulo),JonOne (Paris), Olivier Kosta-Théfaine (Paris),Barry McGee (San Francisco), Nug (Stockholm),Evan Roth (American living in Honk Kong),Boris Tellegen / Delta (Amsterdam), Vitché (São
Paulo) and Gérard Zlotykamien (Paris).
The Fondation Cartier will offer a wide program of documentaries, films by artists, and short videos that highlight the gestural process of graffiti in action, focus on its production in an urban environment, and bring to light the diversity of current writing styles and techniques.
For an exciting project in collaboration with the Association Le M.U.R., two French artists will be invited each month to create large-scale works in the gardens of the Fondation Cartier. These works will be presentedin the foundation’s gallery space before being moved to the billboard of theAssociation Le M.U.R, located at the intersection of the Saint-Maur and Oberkampf streets in the city of Paris.
Born in the Streets—Graffiti Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain,Paris 250 pages / 300 color and black and white illustrations Publication date: July 2009
In conjunction with the exhibition Born in the Streets—Graffiti, the Nomadic Nights will offer
a program of special evening, weekend or week-long events.
Workshops, performances, concerts, and installations will allow the public to experience the exhibition from new perspectives.
On the program:
piecebook battle in the gardens of the Fondation Cartier; street art tours around the city of Paris; 1980 interactive mobile box, a video installation by the 1980 collective; Iqaluit, a video installation by the Berlin collective;
Total Sun Ra, a drawing-and-music session organized by Blutch and Joseph Ghosn;Rodolphe Burger in concert and illustrated by Dupuy and Berberian; a multimedia performance and workshop by Akrylonumérik, and many other events.
Program details and calendar available at fondation.cartier.com/soireesnomades
Opening on Sunday, July 5, 2009 in the presence of the artists Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain261, boulevard Raspail F- 75014 Parisfondation.cartier.com