We found – 13 articles for black-and-white

The 10 Best Street Art Books of 2018

Berlin-based specialized bookshop and gallery Urban Spree releases the list of the “10 Best Street Art Books of 2018“, a compilation of this year’s best titles. Although purely subjective, it reflects several trends playing in the book market:

 

– a renewed focus on the works of the pioneers of the 1960-70s through an academic approach;

– an increase in artist monographs which put more emphasis on their studio works;

– we have entered the era of “post-graffiti”

– but vandal graffiti and underground street art resist well the assimilation;

 

The list of the best publications of 2018 comes in no particular order.

 

1° John Divola: Vandalism

One of the most striking books of the year, “Vandalism” singles out itself by the sobriety of its approach.It consists of a black-and-white photographic series shot over 2 years in the mid-70s by the American photographer John Divola. Divola travelled across L.A. in search of vacant and dilapidated properties in which to shoot his project. Armed with a camera, spray paint, string and cardboard, the artist would produce one of his most significant photographic series, painting abstract constellations of graffiti-like marks, ritualistic configurations of string hooked to pins, torn arrangements of cardboard, and photographing it.

Vandalism” is not per se a “street art book” but rather a photobook crossing over both genres. The best example of a crossover book would be Bruce Davidson’s “Subway“, a series of portraits shot on the gritty NYC subway in the 70s where graffiti abounds but is only a sub-context, not the main topic (unlike Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s vernacular documentary photographic oeuvre whose main purpose is to specifically document graffiti).

 

Published by MACK Books, UK, in April 2018

Embossed paper-bound hardback

120 pages, 23.5 cm x 23.5 cm

Buy it here

 

2° Rafael Schacter: Street to Studio

“These are artists who are thus not slavishly reproducing their exterior practice within an interior realm but who are, rather, taking the essence of graffiti – its visual principles, its spatial structures, its technical methods, its entrenched ethics – and reinterpreting them with the studio domain,”writes Rafael Schacter in his introduction of his book Street to Studio.

We have entered the post-graffiti era. At a time where the graphic codes of street art are permeating most spheres of culture and entertainment, street artists have simultaneously enjoyed the favor of galleries and collectors and therefore have strongly developed their studio practice, when it was not in their ADN since the begining. What comes out is a blended space, where the artist works on both surfaces, the wall and the canvas, oscillating between different scales, the large and the intimate. Is this becoming a new paradigm in the art world?

The book introduces the concept of  ‘Intermural Art’ – art in-between the walls – to reflect that transition and has the merit of putting the emphasis on more conceptual players in the game (Brad Downey, Ian Strange, Boris Tellegen…) rather than usual suspects.

 

Published by Lund Humphries in July 2018

Edited by Rafael Schacter with a foreword by Carlo McCormick

Hardcover, 218 colour illustrations

224 Pages, 27 × 24,9 cm

Buy it here

 

3° David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake At Night

Beginning in the late 1970s, the American artist David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, and activism. Largely self-taught, he came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by creative energy, financial precariousness, and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, and neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, he varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the prevailing culture.

Wojnarowicz’s work documents and illuminates a desperate period of American history: that of the AIDS crisis and culture wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. But his rightful place is also among the raging and haunting iconoclastic voices, from Walt Whitman to William S. Burroughs, who explore American myths, their perpetuation, their repercussions, and their violence. Wojnarowicz, who was thirty-seven when he died from AIDS-related complications, wrote: “To make the private into something public is an action that has terrific ramifications.”

 

Published by Yale University Press in July 2018

Hardcover, 384 pages

160 color + 100 b/w illustrations

Buy it here

 

4° BLU: Minima Muralia

Italian street artist BLU is one of the few street artists refusing to compromise with the art market, unwilling to translate his brillant art onto canvas, staying true to the origins of the movement – an underground, non-monetized, ephemeral, illegal & outdoor art practice for which the context and the meaning are the most important elements.

While Banksy excels in subverting the codes of the art world, BLU refuses them and strikes back, erasing the murals he painted to fight their monetization (Bologna, Berlin).

Minima Muralia” presents each mural painted by the artist during the last 15 years, more than 200 walls.

 

 

Published by Zooo Press in March 2018

288 full color pages

17×24 cm, lay flat swiss binding

Buy it here

 

5° One Week With 1UP

Which brings us to the last frontier within the realm of the urban arts: graffiti. “One Week with 1UP” is the second published book by and about the legendary Berlin-based vandal graffiti crew 1UP.  This time, the Kreuzberg crew embarks NYC-based legendary documentary photographer Martha Cooper and Berlin-based photographer Ninja K. in a series of underground actions, through tunnels, rooftops, featuring high pressure fire extinguisher tags, roll-downs, roll-ups, street bombings, whole cars and backjumps in a first-hand account.

1UP is the ultimate modern graffiti crew in the 21st century: large, everywhere, powerful, fearless, defiant, invisible.

 

Self-Published, Berlin, 2018

A project by Martha Cooper, Ninja K. and 1UP

English/German, 144 pages, 31 x 22 cm

Buy it here

 

6° Klone: “Few Moments Ago I Was Here”

Klone is an Ukrianian-born, Tel-Aviv based street artist, a pioneer of graffiti in Israel and a visual artist who was the first to exhibit at Urban Spree and one of the reasons why we did the space in the first place. I stumbled upon his fist published book – “Don’t Sleep”– in 2011 and was so moved by its personal content, poetry, freedom, that I wanted to meet the man and work with him.

8 years later comes Few Moments Ago I Was Here“,  looking over those past 8 years of exhibitions, mural projects, installation, and animations.

“Few Moments Ago I Was Here” is an artist book. By this, we mean a book which is mainly thought, designed, created and published by the artist himself. We always try to get as many self-published and artist books in the bookshop because they are precious and unconventional. Of course they are difficult to source, as we can get our hands only on a small stock, they sell out fast and we need to replace them but we can’t get enough of them.

 

Self-Published, Tel Aviv, November 2018 (Hell No Publication)

Limited edition of 500 copies.

Softcover. Full colour offset print on Munken lynx paper.

Buy it here

 

7° Ian Strange: Islands 2015-2017

Continuing on the self-publication mood and echoing John Divola, the Australian artist Ian Strange  publishes “Islands 2015-2017”, a photographic monograph documenting his interventions on American suburban homes, in the wake of Gordon Matta-Clark or David Wojnarowicz.

Through photography, sculpture, research, found artefacts and drawings, “Island” reflects on the home through the metaphor of the desert island, a place of personal sovereignty but simultaneously entrapment. “Island” interplays the monumental with the intimate and intangible. Exploring the icon of the home as a deeply vulnerable object and personal vessel for memory, identity and aspiration.

 

Self-published

Limited edition of 400 hand numbered and signed books with a concertina print

25 x 34 cm

Buy it here

 

8° Jan Kalab: Point of Space

“Point of Space” is the first published monograph of the Czech graffiti and visual artist Jan Kaláb, covering 25 years of his urban and studio creations, through multiple art forms (paintings, 3D graffiti, bombings, sculptures, installations).

Jan Kaláb started as a pure graffiti writer and achieved fame under the monikers “CAKES” and “POINT”. From there, his practice evolved to murals and studio works, sculptures and canvases and this evolution, patiently documented, is fascinating to follow.

The book was edited by the artist himself with texts by the czech art critic Petr Volf.

 

 

Published by Trafacka/Trafo Gallery Prague, in November 2018

320 pages

Hard Cover, 25 cm x 32,5 cm

Texts by Petr Volf and book design by Jan Novák

Buy it here

 

9° Swet: Book of the Year

 

One of the last published books of 2018, “Book of the Year” is a comprehensive monograph encompassing 1 year of walls by the danish graffiti writer SWET.

A graffiti “tour de force”, all the walls depicted in the book were painted in 2017 and amount to over 300 wall pieces, almost one per day, all of them documented in the book, including some sketches.

The book is bound with a piece of a canvas specially painted by SWET for this project and each book has a different binding, which also highlights the precise work of the dutch artisan publishing house Chemistry Publishing.

 

 

Published in November 2018 by Chemistry Publishing

First Edition of 500

240 pages printed on Munken Crystal Rough

Cover embossed with green linen, 24 x 28,5 cm

Buy it here

 

10° Russian Urban Art: History and Conflict

Street art books are usually more about photographs and visual documentation than text. Few history books actually exist on the graffiti and street art movements, let alone about a peripheral movement such as street art in Russia.

It is therefore the merit of the Russian artist and curator Igor Ponosov to examine the power of street art in Russia by exploring its historical background, extending from the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, to the non-conformists and the actionists of the 21st century.

 

 

Self-Published, Moscow, June 2018

Edition of 500

Hardcover, 20 x 15 cm, 96 pages, English

Buy it here

 



Bisco Smith: “Journey” until 21.04

Bisco Smith’s solo show “Journey” will be on display until 21.04.2018 at Urban Spree Galerie.
 The NYC-based visual artist has spent a 3-week residency at Urban Spree prior to the opening of his show. During his stay in Berlin, he created a whole new series of works on canvas, inks on paper and some installations.

 

“Journey” brings the visitor to the universe of Bisco’s largely freestyle and calligraffiti-inspired black-and-white visual beats. 

 

 

Bisco’s roots lie in hip hop, graffiti, and street art. He works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and his style can be characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, gestural abstraction, and lyric-based stylewriting. Made predominantly with a black and white color palette, his art visually captures the rhythms of music and the energy of the moment through its spontaneous marks and abstracted text.

 

We will be releasing an exclusive hand-pulled 18″ x 24″ screen print made at Urban Spree on Wednesday, March 14th at 12:00 (noon) NYC time and 17:00 German time.

 

The catalogue of works exhibited can be downloaded here.

 

Please contact the gallery for any further information on the works.

 

instagram: @biscosmith

 

Bisco Smith: Journey
Art residency + Solo Show
Exhibition: 09.03.2018 – 21.04.2018
Tu-Sa. 12:00-19:00


Opening of “Journey”, Bisco Smith’s Residency and Exhibition

Urban Spree Galerie is inviting the NYC-based visual artist Bisco Smith (b.1980) for a 3-week Art Residency at Urban Spree.

 

 
During his Berlin residency, Bisco Smith will be creating a whole new body of large scale works that will culminate in a solo show in the galerie from 08.03.2018 to 21.04.2018.
 
“Journey” will bring the visitor to the universe of Bisco’s largely freestyle and calligraffiti-inspired black-and-white visual beats. 

 

 
Bisco’s roots lie in music, graffiti, and street art. He works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and his style can be characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, gestural abstraction, and lyric-based stylewriting. Made predominantly with a black and white color palette, his art visually captures the rhythms of music and the energy of the moment through its spontaneous marks and abstracted text.

 

 
His work is regularly exhibited in major markets and is collected by both national and international collectors.

 

instagram: @biscosmith

 

Urban Spree Galerie presents:

 

Bisco Smith: Journey
Art residency + Solo Show

 

Opening: 08.03.2018 19:00-23:00
Exhibition: 09.03.2018 – 21.04.2018
Tu-Sa. 12:00-19:00

 

 

 

 

Urban Spree – Revaler Str. 99 – 10245 Berlin


Bisco Smith: Journey

 
Urban Spree Galerie is inviting the NYC-based visual artist Bisco Smith (b.1980) for a 3-week art residency at Urban Spree.

 

 
During his Berlin residency, Bisco Smith will be creating a whole new body of large scale works that will culminate in a solo show in the galerie from 08.03.2018 to 21.04.2018.
 
“Journey” will bring the visitor to the universe of Bisco’s largely freestyle and calligraffiti-inspired black-and-white visual beats. 

 

 
Bisco’s roots lie in music, graffiti, and street art. He works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and his style can be characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, gestural abstraction, and lyric-based stylewriting. Made predominantly with a black and white color palette, his art visually captures the rhythms of music and the energy of the moment through its spontaneous marks and abstracted text.

 

 

 

His work is regularly exhibited in major markets and is collected by both national and international collectors.

 

instagram: @biscosmith

 

Urban Spree Galerie presents:
Bisco Smith: Journey
Art residency + Solo Show
Opening: 08.03.2018 19:00-23:00
Exhibition: 09.03.2018 – 22.04.2018
Tu-Sa. 12:00-19:00
 
Urban Spree – Revaler Str. 99 – 10245 Berlin


Tavar Zawacki: Metamorphosis

Urban Spree Galerie is proud to present “Metamorphosis”, a solo exhibition by visual artist Tavar Zawacki in Berlin.

Zawacki will be presenting a museum style solo exhibition of twelve large format works on canvas with his signature hard edge painting style.

The opening reception will take place on the 7th of September 2017 at 19:00 at Urban Spree Galerie, Revaler Str. 99, Berlin-Friedrichshain together with the release of his second monograph, “Metamorphosis”, a 168-page book published by Urban Spree Books.

Runtime: 8th of September – 14th of October, 2017.

The exhibition will display only large format originals and marks a clear new direction for the artist.

The intention for the Metamorphosis exhibition was to transition into newer areas of my creativity with a fearless attitude. The past year I decided to slow down, and focus my attention inwards. My priority was to observe previous styles of artworks I had painted, and take them to a higher, more refined level. During this introspective period I was surprised to find that I had many barriers in my creativity that blocked my true visual style from being seen. It was disturbing for me to realize that I’ve been very fearful, and self conscious with my creative process. Metamorphosis is about transformation from one state into a newer dynamic one. With a lot of brutal honesty, and conviction for growth I was able to take inner inventory of what no longer served me. I was able to let go of the fears that were stifling my creative progression. I was prepared for feeling uncomfortable during this metamorphosis. I was learning how to unblock my personal censors, and be valiant in painting the styles of works I’ve previously been too reluctant to paint.

The Metamorphosis exhibition focuses on four different, and distinct styles of painting. Each painting style has it’s own unique personality. As a collective whole these twelve works on canvas best encompass my current interests of painting styles in my career. The restricted black and white designs display my attraction in sharp contrasting Op-Art visual effects. On the contrary, the CMYK designs are full of color achieved from overlapping secondary and tertiary shapes. The painting style of trompe l’oeil  has been a highlight of mine during this creative process. The manipulation of shadows, and illusion of depth added a nice dimensional element to Metamorphosis body of work. The fourth, and final painting style examines the relationship between both straight, and curved lines. The intention for this style was to have a balance within each of these defined compositions.

During the designing process of this exhibition I had achieved my goals of stepping out of my creative comfort zone, while pushing forward in these aforementioned styles of my creative interest. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the show.” Tavar Zawacki, July 2017

In addition to the exhibition, Urban Spree Books publishes “Metamorphosis“, a 168-page monograph retracing the latest works and murals of the artist.

Last but not the least, a screen print is being released for the show in a standard black-and-white edition as well as a very limited large silver and gold edition in a run of 5.

 

The pdf catalogue of the show is now available upon request by writing to: galerie@urbanspree.com

 

About the artist:

Tavar Zawacki (b. 1981), is a Californian born, Berlin-based contemporary artist. Tavar Zawacki under his then street name, ABOVE, was one of the main pioneers and influencers in the development of the Street Art movement in Paris in 2001. His proliferation of his arrow icon trail-blazed the way for later generations of street artists using iconography, logos, and abstract artworks in the street. During the past 20 years Tavar has proliferated his artworks in over 100 cities spanning 50 countries around the world. His style is characterized by the use of bold colors, geometric patterns, Op Art elements, and trompe l’oeil illusion effects. Tavar Zawacki has been showcasing his work in galleries and institutions around the world since 2005. He is a resident of Urban Spree since 2 years.

http://www.tavarzawacki.com

 

Metamorphosis

Opening: Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 19:00

Exhibition: 8th of September – 14th of October, 2017

Tuesday-Sunday 12:00 – 19:00 and with appointment

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

 

Gallery Enquiries: pascal@urbanspree.com

Press Enquiries: diana@urbanspree.com



Tavar Zavacki New Mural in Sacramento

Urban Spree Resident Artist Tavar Zawacki (aka Above) participated in August 2017 to the Wide Open Walls Mural Festival in Sacramento, California.

On this occasion, he painted a large mural downtown entitled “Metamorphosis #2“.

This motive stems from a new body of large scale works on canvas which will be presented for the first time at Urban Spree Galerie from 07.09.2017 to 08.10.2017.

The solo show “Metamorphosis” will display only large formats and marks a clear new direction for the artist.

In addition to the exhibition, Urban Spree Books will publish “Metamorphosis“, a 168-page monograph retracing the latest works and murals of the artist.

Last but not the least, a screen print set of 2 prints will be released for the show in a standard black-and-white edition as well as a large silver and gold edition.

Metamorphosis #3 – Acrylic on Canvas – 300 cm x 200 cm – 2017

The pdf catalogue of the show is available upon request by writing to the galerie: galerie@urbanspree.com