Art Collecting

Eric Firestone Gallery presents new monumental paintings by FUTURA in two rooms in East Hamptons | Pro Club Bd

This August, the Eric Firestone Gallery is presenting a new series of ambitious, large-scale painted TARPESTRIES by FUTURA at its flagship East Hampton gallery and at The Garage, the gallery’s newest East Hampton space which recently opened to the public.

The abstract paintings, created with layers of spray paint on manipulated tarpaulin, are displayed unframed and unstretched in the same manner as traditional tapestries throughout the gallery’s 8,000 square meter exhibition space. TARPESTRIES is on view from August 6 to September 18, 2022 and marks the second solo presentation of FUTURA’s work at the gallery.

The works on display include more than 20 paintings, ranging in size from 7 to 25 feet, and explore what FUTURA playfully refers to as his “Van Wrinkle” approach, a fragmenting technique in which the artist spray paints onto industrial sheeting rather than canvas. The resulting works are realized in both monochromatic hues and full-color applications, and feature textured, highly color-saturated surfaces. Embracing a new process and medium for the artist, this work marks a return to FUTURA’s roots in a purist form – with a progressive use of spray paint and a colossal scale not seen since his early days on location . The artist will also present a new sculpture in bronze.

Among the most celebrated figures to emerge from the graffiti art movement in the early 1980s, FUTURA has cultivated an innovative studio practice that works across scales and mediums over the last four decades. FUTURA’s latest exhibition at Eric Firestone Gallery reflects the gallery’s commitment to re-examining traditional narratives of post-war American art and its ongoing advocacy for contemporary creativity. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of programs and events, including an artist talk and opening reception, followed by the presentation by the gallery of a standalone stand featuring FUTURA works for Singapore’s first ART SG art fair in January 2023.

“I am very excited about my upcoming TARPESTRIES exhibition with Eric Firestone Gallery, a transition in style and scale, a familiar departure with an unexpected arrival,” said FUTURA.

“This new work reflects FUTURA’s ongoing studio practice, informed by his creative origins while also utilizing new media and techniques. The result is multi-layered, expressive work that pushes new boundaries yet is instantly identifiable as the artist,” said Firestone. “This exhibition speaks to the innovation and evolution of FUTURA’s distinctive practice and the gallery’s focus on expanding the canon of Post-War and Contemporary Art.”

FUTURA (born Leonard Hilton McGurr, 1955, New York) is an abstract painter whose practice first developed in New York in the 1970s. One of the earliest graffiti artists to introduce abstraction into his work, FUTURA was also one of the first graffiti artists to be featured in contemporary art galleries in the early 1980s.

Early exhibitions of his work include presentations at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, and as part of the historic 1980 Times Square show alongside Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rammellzee and Kenny Scharf. MoMA PS1 reunited the artists in its seminal 1981 exhibition, New York/New Wave. FUTURA also worked with punk band The Clash during this period, designing their album covers and painting on large format canvases behind the band while they performed in concert. In recent years he has collaborated with Takashi Murakami and exhibited at the Kaikai KiKi Gallery in Tokyo. He has worked with Virgil Abloh on collections for Off-White and Louis Vuitton and sets for the Coachella designer.

FUTURA’s work has been exhibited at The New Museum, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Groninger Museum, Netherlands; and Yvon Lambert, Galerie De Noirmont, and Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris. In 2020, the Noguchi Museum presented Futura Akari, an installation of Akari light sculptures custom designed by FUTURA; he created a large site-specific installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris; and he was included in the exhibition Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip Hop Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Forging its own path since 2010, the Eric Firestone Gallery re-examines significant but underappreciated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Characterized by its scholarly approach, the organization is known for re-examining historical works with a contemporary lens and reintroducing post-war artists into the discourse and the field in general. Working closely with institutions, academics and collectors, the gallery supports rigorous scholarly and archival research that explores the whole of an artist’s creative vision and life.

The Eric Firestone Gallery opened its first location at 4 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, New York in 2010. In 2015, the gallery expanded to include an additional loft in a historic artist home and office at 4 Great Jones Street in New York City. In 2020, the gallery opened its third location just a block away from its first New York location at 40 Great Jones Street. 2022 marks the dedication of the gallery’s fourth space and second in the Hamptons at 62 Newtown Lane. Each of these spaces is located in an area of ​​art historical significance, from the East End of Long Island to the heart of New York City, and aligns with Eric Firestone Gallery’s mission to encourage bygone expressions that are ever present.

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