New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1983. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's stapled illustrated stiff paper wraps.
Scarce exhibition catalog for a December 1983 group show at the prestigious Sidney Janis Gallery, featuring thirty-six works by seventeen graffiti artists, many making their gallery debut. The emergence of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring (both in the show) brought a new level of attention to the graffiti scene, elevating it from an underground subculture into art. Janis termed the new trend "post-graffiti," defining the movement as the "transition from subway surfaces to canvas" and declaring 1983 as the year that graffiti, "no longer transitory or ephemeral, joins the tradition of contemporary art and is recognized as an existing valid movement." While the show is widely recognized as the beginning of the art-market craze for graffiti it also received a variety of criticisms, some directed at Janis for exposing previously underground artists to pressures of the market, others (including the New York Times) for enshrining illegal and "illegitimate" street art. Illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of pieces by A-one, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Bear, Marc Brasz, Crane, Crash, Daze, Futura 2000, Keith Haring, The Arbitrator Koor, Lady Pink, Don Leicht, Noc 167, Lee Quiñones, Ramm-Ell-Zee, Kenny Scharf and Toxic. With foreword by the show's organizer, Dolores Neumann and Sidney Janis. Wraps designed by Crash. Light creasing to wraps, corners lightly bumped. A Near fine copy of an important catalog. Item #2794