A new exhibition at Phillips auction house showcases a thorough study into the various styles that have manifested in both Los Angeles and New York. Curated by Arnold Lehman and Elizabeth Wallace, “1970s / GRAFFITI / TODAY” will feature nearly 150 works consigned by artists, galleries and private collectors.
Featuring work from the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rammellzee, Mark Gonzales, Blade and many more, the exhibition is a unique retrospective on one of the world’s most accessible art forms. One that Lehman states is the only one “which every single American has firsthand experience.”
Starting April 29, the auction house plans to present the show in three sessions. The first from April 29 to May 5, the second from May 7 to 12 and lastly from May 14 to 19.
“I’m really interested in continuing this conversation about graffiti as an art form, as a cultural movement that has been happening for decades,” said Wallace. “And it is important to study these movements and see how they relate to each other. I think that one of the really exciting things about the show is that it’s not just a set of isolated examples: It shows you this interconnectivity between New York and Los Angeles and how these cities, which for so long were thought to be competing against each other, actually came together and shared a lot of the same ideas and worked together over time.”
The exhibition is curated by Arnold Lehman and Elizabeth Wallace, both of Phillips Auction House, who researched the work for over a decade. The opening reception will include DJ sets from hip-hop artists Rammellzee (New York) and Busy Bee (Los Angeles), and the auction will feature an appearance by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s collaborators and friends of his, such as Glenn Branca and Fab Five Freddy.
"Phillips Presents, "1970s / GRAFFITI / TODAY"" will showcase works from some of the most influential graffiti artists dating back to 1970 throughout 1990.Accompanied by a fully illustrated booklet of the exhibition, all information and images for this article come from that catalog.