557C West 23rd Street
June 26—July 26, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 26, 6—8pm
NEW YORK, NY (May 20, 2014) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Broken English, new works by highly celebrated Bronx-based graffiti pioneer CRASH in what will be his first solo exhibition with the gallery. In conjunction with Broken English, CRASH has painted a mural with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, located on Suffolk between Rivington and Stanton Streets, and will release a new screen print edition.
With four decades of experience in graffiti, CRASH is recognized as one of the first subway writers to begin painting on canvas and exhibiting in galleries. While his early work played a pivotal role in the development and elevation of graffiti as a movement, CRASH continues to contribute to the level of art historical significance it holds today.
Committed to the medium and technique that he refined while painting on the street, CRASH creates his works freehand, with brightly colored spray paint and tightly cropped compositions. Combining pop culture subject matter with abstraction, his fragmented comic-inspired imagery paired with text is reminiscent of the 1960s Pop Art movement.
Broken English will include a series of small works on paper and large canvases, some with integrated found materials such as neon advertising signage. The exhibition also incorporates a vintage 1975 Mini Cooper—this fully functional motor vehicle has been restored, detailed, customized and painted by the artist as a three-dimensional art object.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
John Matos (CRASH) was born in 1961 in the Bronx, New York, where he is currently based. Matos adopted the name CRASH in high school after taking a course in computer programming. At the age of thirteen, he began bombing subway cars and his work started to appear on trains and dilapidated buildings throughout New York City. In 1980, CRASH transitioned from the streets to the gallery when he curated Graffiti Art Success for America at Fashion MODA in the South Bronx. This groundbreaking exhibition is viewed as a launching point in legitimizing the graffiti movement, connecting street artists and the downtown fine arts world, with CRASH as a pioneer. In 1983 he headlined an exhibition called Post-Graffiti with Keith Haring and Jean-Michele Basquiat at Sydney Janis Gallery in New York. CRASH’s work is included in numerous permanent collections such as the Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). His commercial projects have involved brand collaborations with Fender, Tumi, Ferrari and more. In 2013, he was invited to paint a mural on the famed Houston and Bowery wall.
ABOUT JONATHAN LEVINE GALLERY
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is committed to new and cutting edge art. Our roots go back to 1995, when Jonathan’s life-long participation in punk and underground music grew into a curatorial experiment with the visual culture that surrounded him. We moved to Chelsea in 2005, with an eye towards honoring and connecting with the history and context of Post War art. We contribute to the dialogue by challenging the conventions of the canon – exploring the terrain of the high/low and everything in between. Jonathan LeVine Gallery is located at 557C West 23rd Street and 529 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please visit: www.jonathanlevinegallery.com