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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Street/Studio

Opening reception with the artists:
Saturday, June 20, 6-8PM

Preview and viewing exterior installations in progress:
Friday, June 19, 1:00-4:00PM

Public panel discussion: Friday, June 19, 6:00PM,
Katzen Arts Center, American University

June 20 - August 1

Street/Studio will present works by artists who use the street and urban space as extensions of their studios, and who bring the street and urban sites into their studio practice. Artists include Shepard Fairey (LA), Swoon (NYC), Gaia (Brooklyn), Imminent Disaster (Brooklyn), Oliver Vernon (Brooklyn), James Marshall (Dalek) (NY and Raleigh, NC), EVOL (Berlin, Germany), and PISA73 (Berlin, Germany).

Curatorial Statement
Conceived as a continuous installation of interior and exterior works, Street/Studio will include both the gallery interior space and the exterior walls and alleys behind Irvine Contemporary. This continuous installation will create a unified view of works created as works for a gallery art space as well as exterior public street murals that work with the location of the neighborhood and the urban environment of Washington, DC.

Many artists today consider the urban space a source and a site for new artworks equal to art history and the canonized works of art institutions. The generation of artists going through art schools now have never known a world without the artists in the Beautiful Losers group. Warhol and Basquiat are art history; the styles and genres of street art are now part of the story. For many working artists today, it's not only about appropriating "art history," but the history of every mark, sign, and image left in the vast, global, encyclopedic memory machine of the city. Even more, the urban environment of mass public spaces, historic and aging built environments, and the walls and surfaces of the streets are seen as an extended art site, a counter-studio, a canvas of practice, a zone for intervention to be worked out and worked with, and then brought back into studio art making. The street and studio continually intersect and presuppose each other. Combining street and studio sources is now a normative practice, not an art form requiring special explanations, exceptions, or taming for the sanctioned institutions of the art world.

Street/Studio features the work of artists who have developed their work in this evolving environment, where boundaries, walls, and physical spaces aren't limits but variations for interpreting place, location, and space, activities that artists have always negotiated for making enduring statements.

--Martin Irvine

Public Program
A panel discussion on the impact of street art in the contemporary artworld with curators and artists in the exhibition will be hosted by the Katzen Arts Center Museum, American University, June 19, 6:00PM. Invited guests: Pedro Alonzo, Independent Curator (Curator of the Shepard Fairey Retrospective, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art) and visiting artists in the “Street/Studio” exhibition. Moderator: Martin Irvine.



Irvine Contemporary
1412 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202-332-8767)

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