Richard Hambleton show coming to London

Richard Hambleton, one of the original modern street artists and active in the 1970’s and 1980’s, has a traveling solo show which comes to London next week. I wrote about why I like Hambleton a few months back. The show will have 45 artworks, many of which have never been seen before. So I highly recommend that you get over to The Dairy in central London sometime between November 19th and December 3rd to check this out.

Via CuratedMag

Richard Hambleton: One of the original street artists

One thing that I’ve been getting interested in lately is street are in the 1960’s-mid-1980’s. Basically, street art before Shepard Fairey. That’s why I recently visited John Fekner and Don Leicht’s studio. Perhaps the best place to learn about street art in that timespan is the book Street Art by Allan Schwartzman (and Tristan Manco has another suggestion but it’s not as easy to purchase). You’ll probably recognize some of the artists on the cover of Street Art (Futura, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring), but the largest image on that book’s cover is of an artwork by a largely overlooked street artist: Richard Hambleton.

Hambleton started making street art in the late 1970’s when he made chalk outlines of people’s bodies in public places, as if a murder had occurred there. The physical artwork was really just the start of these pieces though. Often, these would get picked up by the local media, as residents in suburban and generally wealthy communities mildly panicked about the “crime scene.” Besides being fun, these early pieces of street art help to draw a very clear connection between the situationist movement and street art, something that I like to look for.

But it’s another series that Hambleton is probably best known for: The Shadowmen. These are what is on the cover of Street Art. Hambleton splashed black paint onto the streets in figurative shapes that looked like the shadows of people. It’s these paintings that you’ll primarily find at his current retrospective in Moscow. I briefly mentioned Arrested Motion’s preview of the show a few weeks ago, but now some photos of the work hanging in the museum have come out. Oh, did I mention that the retrospective is at a museum? Looks like USA hasn’t quite caught up with the Russians on this one, as Hambleton’s retrospective is taking place at The State Museum of Modern Art of the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow.

There are some pretty nice pieces in this show, and for a fan of the years of street art like me, it’s fantastic to see Hambleton finally getting due recognition in a museum (as well as a recent Juxtapoz Magazine interview).

Unfortunately, Richard Hambleton – New York closes on September 29th, but hopefully show will help to relaunch Hambleton and we’ll be able to see these works in the UK or USA soon. Hambleton is among street art’s original innovators and it’s a shame that his contributions haven’t been more properly acknowledged until recently.

One of the interesting things about Hambleton is that even though he was one of the first street artists, his gallery work wouldn’t immediately be pegged as “street art” (unlike, for example, Blek le Rat, Crash and Futura). The above painting his part of his Marlboro Man series, and it just looks like a strong painting; Hambleton’s street art background doesn’t entirely define him.

Hambleton’s retrospective was put together by Valmorbida and Feedback.

Photos courtesy of Valmorbida

Things to look at this weekend…

Detail of a painting by Bast

I’m guessing that with college only getting busier (although, as Stickboy pointed out on Twitter, freshman year isn’t exactly the busiest), I think I’ll finally have to resort to a semi-weekly link post. So Things to look at this weekend… will probably become a weekly feature on Vandalog (but maybe with more exciting name). So here’s what I’ve been reading recently:

  • Street Art: Contemporary Prints from the V&A is pretty much what the surprising title says. Turns out, the V&A museum has a pretty solid collection of urban art prints by artists like Swoon, D*Face and Blek le Rat. This show opens at a museum in Coventry, England on October 9th and UK Street Art has more info.
  • Tristan Manco‘s latest book, Street Sketchbook: Journeys, will be released at the end of September. Tristan is one of the people that I most respect in the street art community. Besides curating Cans Festival, he has been writing quality street art books for about a decade. He probably knows more about the artists he is writing about than just about anyone else, but he keeps everything accessible to a mass audience. Originally, I was skeptical of the concept of this book, but I’ve since been convinced that it will be at least worth checking out, and will probably be the best street art book of the year in terms of mass appeal (although other books will likely top it for street art fanatics). For me, the most exciting part of this book is going to be the exhibition that Tristan is curating at Pictures on Walls for next month. You’ll probably hear more about it on Vandalog in the coming weeks, but basically all the artists from his new book will be in the show. WallKandy has more info.
  • Bast has a solo show at Lazarides’ Rathbone Place. Most day’s I’m pretty indifferent to Bast indoors (credit to him for always getting up though), but I’m liking some of this work, and the Bast fans I’ve spoken with think this is some of his best work yet. Arrested Motion has photos.
  • Eelus has a solo show at Brooklynite Gallery in NY. The show runs through October 2nd. Hi-Fructose has some great photos.
  • It’s not a new idea and this video has been appearing all across the web, but if you haven’t checked out this “birds as CCTVs” project yet, it’s about time you do. I ignored it at first because I thought the idea was tired, but this version brings the idea to new levels and the video is very well-made.
  • One of my favorite art blogs is Street Art is Dead. If you haven’t read it before, it’s basically a no-holds-barred street art blog. Basically, I guess the writer of the blog is anonymous or just really doesn’t care what people think, so he/she really says it like it is and reveals juicy tidbits of gossip before anybody else. Today I want to link to two recent posts from Street Art is Dead. This one , on a topic that will not be discussed on Vandalog because I don’t want to play into the hype-machine, and this 100%-spot-on post about the latest Dolk prints and SPQR’s upcoming show at Signal Gallery. SAiD took the words right out of my mouth about SPQR and Dolk before I could post that here.
  • Old-school street artist Richard Hambleton has a solo show which just opened this week in Moscow. It looks pretty damn good. Of course, Arrested Motion has photos and all the info you need.