“A calligraphic impulse has been behind some of the greatest works of Modern Art.”
-- Jeffrey Deitch
"This show makes connections between pivotal artistic movements across cultures that have
informed each other's creative processes. Just as the graffiti movement emerged from the economic and social turmoil of the 1970s in New York, it is now no surprise that some of the most groundbreaking street art is burgeoning all across the Middle East. Calligraphy as an art form is part of a Middle Eastern collective memory and as it continues to evolve, we are now witnessing a kinetic dialogue between these movements that will no doubt leave their mark on history."
-- Leila Heller
Leila Heller is pleased to announce Calligraffiti 1984/2013, on view from September 5 – October 5, 2013.
Originally curated in 1984 by Jeffrey Deitch (Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) at Leila Heller’s former uptown gallery, Calligraffiti explored a myriad of possible connections shared between the seemingly disparate styles of select mid-century abstract, U.S. graffiti, and calligraphic artists from the Middle East and its diaspora.
By presenting an expanded and updated roster of artists including site-specific installations by emerging and established artists 30 years later, Calligraffiti 1984/2013 re-examines the global impact of graffiti and calligraphy as converging modes of personal expression, popular culture, and political dissent mutually grounded in arrogating the systems of language. Featuring more than 50 works by artists ranging from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner; Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Hossein Zenderoudi and Pouran Jinchi, the exhibition will also include site-specific installations by emerging and established artists such as eL Seed and LA2.
An illustrated catalogue with an introductory text by Jeffrey Deitch will accompany the exhibition.