FUTURA2000: Breaking Out, A Retrospective @ University at Buffalo Art Galleries
University at Buffalo Art Galleries is pleased to present FUTURA2000: Breaking Out, a retrospective of artist FUTURA2000 that will span both University of Buffalo Art Galleries locations; UB Center for the Arts and the UB Anderson Gallery.
Over his career span of five decades, FUTURA has built a reputation and continues to be an unrelenting innovator. He has inspired and influenced multiple generations of creative purists and polymaths while intersecting his enigmatic oeuvre with various disciplines and remains at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist. FUTURA2000: Breaking Out is a comprehensive survey featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, studies, collaborations, and archival paraphernalia. The exhibition will also feature new site-specific works. Breaking Out examines one of New York's most-loved artists' essential themes and polyphonic output.
FUTURA2000 is the nom de plume of Leonard Hilton McGurr. In his late teens and early twenties, he was an influential figure in early New York City's formative graffiti-meets- art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, wherein his unique combination of abstraction, pop-culture references, and traditional graffiti elements made him a generational standout in the burgeoning sub-culture. His oft-celebrated infamous 1980 whole NYC subway car piece, Break Train, was a progressive leap for both the genre—and the artist. He created album art for the iconic punk rock band THE CLASH during the same era. The artist was also invited on the band's 1981 Combat Rock European tour, where the artist painted captivating, large-scale backdrops behind the band as they performed live to fervent audiences.
"This retrospective brings a pioneer of the street and graffiti world to the UB and the city of Buffalo," said UB Art Galleries director and exhibition co-curator Robert Scalise. "Students at UB and the community will be able to connect with and learn from an artist who forged a unique career of independent creation and collaboration."
In conjunction with the exhibition, The Buffalo AKG Art Museum Public Art Initiative is excited to produce a mural by the artist in the weeks leading up to the opening. It will serve as a lasting memento of the exhibition in Buffalo's Elmwood Village neighborhood.