Street art will take center stage in the U.K. with the February opening of “Beyond the Streets London”, a major survey at the Saatchi Gallery. The exhibition will explore the impact of over 150 artists and the movements with which they were associated, including Hip-Hop and Punk Rock.
The sprawling show will fill the entirety of the gallery’s 70,000 square-foot space for the first time in eight years, with presentations of original art and site-specific installations alongside new special commissions. Archival documents such as photography, fashion objects, and rare ephemera, will also be shown to explain the history of the works.
The exhibition’s curator is Roger Gastman, a leading specialist in graffiti who has staged several museum-scale shows across the U.S. in the years since he co-curated the much-acclaimed “Art in the Streets” show at L.A. MoCA in 2011.
Co-curated with the L.A. museum’s then-director Jeffrey Deitch, the groundbreaking exhibition elevated an art form that had been mostly marginalized by the mainstream art world and examined its complex history. With over 200,000 visitors, it broke the California institution’s attendance records and subsequent blockbusters followed, including one housed in an office building in New York in 2019.
A permanent dedicated gallery called Beyond the Streets opened in L.A. just this past September. “Our collector base, our audience just kept asking for more,” Gastman told Artnet News at the time.
Making an effort to honor the present as well as the past, its inaugural show linked the work of established legends like Eric HAZE and Lady Pink with a newer generation of artists such as Othelo Gervacio and POSE.
“I don’t want to say I’m the grumpy old man who only cares about historical things, but I want to continue to dig up the stories of the culture of graffiti and street art before they disappear,” said Gastman.
“The story of graffiti and street art can’t be told without highlighting the significant role London, and the U.K. in general, played,” Gastman has said about his latest project at the Saatchi Gallery.
The London exhibition will show street art’s far-reaching influence, from underground social movements to many aspects of mainstream contemporary culture, including what we wear and what we listen to.