Masters of Invention, taking place from 24 March – 29 May at The Lettering Arts Centre, looks at cave painting to modern day street art and the evolution of graffiti, with new work from some of the most influential graffiti artists of the past 40 years, featuring Aroe, Delta, Bando, Mode2, Shok-1, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Part2ism, Zaki Dee.
The exhibition brings together a new collection of paintings and artworks by some of the world’s most influential graffiti artists, alongside unseen sketches and photographs, to build a powerful picture of 40,000 years of creative – and often audacious – handmade lettering and image making.
The origins of graffiti can be traced to the earliest recorded examples of human creativity, with the subterranean caves of Sulawesi in Indonesia carrying 40,000 year-old marks made by spraying paint around hands pressed tightly to walls and ceilings. Ancient graffiti is there in the tombs of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, the catacombs of Rome, the ruins of Pompeii and the mediaeval churches of Britain.
The story of modern graffiti began in the inner cities of Philadelphia and New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; young pioneers created lettering that captivated audiences, beginning with their personal tags before taking their craft to more sophisticated places and earning the title ‘style masters’.
Masters of Invention presents new work by a generation of contemporary artists from the UK, Europe and beyond, each of whom explores the creative possibilities of graffiti away from city walls and subways. Among those featured are renowned British artist, Aroe; Dutch contemporary artist Delta; a pioneer of the British graffiti art scene, Mode2; British X-ray artist, Shok-1; legendary Dutch artist, Niels ‘Show’ Meulman; graffiti/sonic artist, Part2ism; celebrated London artist, Zaki Dee; and the pre-eminent figure of European graffiti writing, Bando.
Click here to find out more and to visit.