John Matos, aka Crash, Aeroplane 1, 1983, spray paint on canvas, 71 1/4 x 103“. From ”Graffiti."

New York


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
June 30–September 3, 2006

Curated by Charlotta Kotik

When Sidney Janis’s venerable gallery on New York’s Fifty-seventh Street mounted “Post-Graffiti” in 1983, the event seemed monumental. For more than five decades of collecting and dealing, Janis had kept abreast of the times, successively championing modern, Abstract Expressionist, and Pop art, and now he had turned his attention to graffiti just as its practitioners were transitioning from train cars to canvas and gaining creative traction, making him the hippest octogenarian of his day. As art-world tastes and media hype moved on, however, Janis continued showing and collecting graffiti art. The Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition of twenty large-scale works culled from his estate—by ten artists, including Crash, Daze, Tracy 168, Lady Pink, Toxic, and A-One—should establish that, rather than being a dealer late in his dotage, Janis was prescient as ever.