Graffiti. New York meets the Dam at Amsterdam Museum

Lee Quiñones - Howard the Duck, 1988

The ‘Graffiti. New York meets the Dam’ exhibition will open in the Amsterdam Museum on 18 September. This is a real first: never before has an exhibition been dedicated solely to graffiti in New York and Amsterdam. Featuring more than 200 objects, the exhibition tells the story of how graffiti reigned supreme in 1980s New York and reached across the ocean to inspire Amsterdam graffiti writers too. The Amsterdam Museum has joined forces with The Museum of the City of New York to bring works by big New York names like Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones and Lady Pink to the Netherlands for this unique exhibition. Their story will be added to with work from the Amsterdam graffiti scene. This will include work that has never been exhibited before, by graffiti artists like Shoe, Delta and Cat22, plus photographic and video material, sketch books (‘black books’) and objects like clothing. The exhibition will run up to and including 24 January 2016.

Black book of Joker, a Dutch graffiti artist, with drawing  of Keith Haring, 1986

Black book of Joker, a Dutch graffiti artist, with drawing of Keith Haring, 1986
collection the Museum of the City of New York © Keith Haring Foundation

Graffiti. New York meets the Dam

The ‘Graffiti. New York meets the Dam’ exhibition explores graffiti as a cultural phenomenon. The exhibition will show how Amsterdam graffiti artists (‘writers’) like Shoe and Delta were influenced by American artists like Lee Quiñones, Dondi and Rammellzee in the 1980s. The 1970s will feature too, being the time when Dr. Rat and Hugo Kaagman were active in the city. The exhibition will use historic visual material and objects like denim jackets and black books to chart the development of graffiti from a street phenomenon to an accepted artistic movement. The exhibition will also shed light on the difference between graffiti and street art. The ‘Graffiti. New York meets the Dam’ exhibition will show how a young generation was able to change the street scene 30 years ago. Their influence is still very much evident today, in music, fashion and contemporary visual culture.

Rhyme, Rhyme, 1988, 150 x 250 cm, collection Rob Alderlieste

Rhyme, Rhyme, 1988, 150 x 250 cm, collection Rob Alderlieste

The Museum of the City of New York

The Amsterdam Museum has joined forces with The Museum of the City of New York to put on this exhibition. In 2014, this museum organised a very successful exhibition: City as canvas – graffiti art from the Martin Wong collection. Work by names like Keith Haring, Cey Adams, Crash, Futura 2000 and Daze all form part of this unique collection. Martin Wong (1946 – 1999) recognised the art of graffiti at an early stage and embraced the movement – believing in its artistic and cultural value – before it had even gained social acceptance. The works to be exhibited in the Amsterdam Museum show how graffiti reigned supreme in 1980s New York and reached across the ocean to inspire Amsterdam graffiti writers too. The museum has brought in graffiti writer Mick la Rock (Aileen Middel) to be the guest curator for this exhibition. City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection was developed by the Museum of the City of New York, curated by Sean Corcoran, Curator of Prints and Photographs.

 

'Chillin', Graffiti artists Shoe and Angel relaxing on a train wagon

‘Chillin’, Graffiti artists Shoe and Angel relaxing on a train wagon

Extra activities

During the exhibition the Amsterdam Museum will work with a diverse range of artists and organizations in the Amsterdam street art and graffiti scene.  Together they will show visitors some unique insights in the Amsterdam scene. Check the Amsterdam Museum website here and here for the full program, tons of background info and regular updates on activities.

 

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Founder and curator at Street Art Today. Organizer of Kings Spray street art festival. Expert speaker at Pakhuis De Zwijger and Amsterdam Museum, producer of award-winning street art murals for Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Currently building the world's biggest street art museum at NDSM Wharf Amsterdam. Opening Summer 2018.