ART: Né Dans La Rue at Fondation Cartier

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Examining the birth of a street culture tantamount to an artistic movement, the Fondation Cartier’s extensive graffiti exhibition proves the validity of this expressive medium. Frequently dismissed as mere vandalism, graffiti and street art include richly expressive works by talented artists who, in the course of their work, reconfigure relationships to urban space: once painted the city is no longer a site of alienation but is as intimate as an artist’s canvas – it can be known, altered, and possessed. Tracing this art form’s origins from the streets of New York City during the 1970s and 80s, this exhibition places the works in context, using documentary film and video, taggers’ sketch books, and even rusty paint cans to set the scene. Massive walls crowded with spray-painted compositions stare out onto the more famous works (by artists such as Keith Haring and Basquiat) that they inspired. MO

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