Over his career span of five decades, FUTURA2000 has built a reputation and continues to be an unrelenting innovator. He has inspired and influenced multiple generations of creative purists and polymaths while intersecting his enigmatic oeuvre with various disciplines and remains at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist. FUTURA2000: Breaking Out is a comprehensive survey featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, studies, collaborations, and archival paraphernalia on display September 23, 2023 – February 11, 2024 at UB Anderson Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
The exhibition will also feature new site-specific works. Breaking Out examines one of New York’s most-loved artist’s essential themes and polyphonic output.
FUTURA2000 (Check out my interview with Futura from a couple years back here) is the nom de plume of Leonard Hilton McGurr. In his late teens and early twenties, he was an influential figure in early New York City’s formative graffiti-meets-art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, wherein his unique combination of abstraction, pop-culture references, and traditional graffiti elements made him a generational standout in this burgeoning sub-culture.
His oft-celebrated and infamous 1980 whole NYC subway car piece, Break Train, was a progressive leap for both the genre—and the artist. He created album art for the iconic punk rock band THE CLASH during the same era. FUTURA was also invited on the band’s 1981 Combat Rock European tour, where he painted captivating, large-scale backdrops behind the band as they performed live to fervent audiences.
In conjunction with the exhibition, The Buffalo AKG Art Museum Public Art Initiative is excited to produce a mural with the street art legend in the weeks leading up to the opening. The mural will serve as a lasting memento of this exhibition in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village neighborhood.
Celebrate the opening of FUTURA 2000: Breaking Out, the first comprehensive survey exhibition exploring the career of FUTURA2000. See the rest of my the photos from the opening night party Sept. 23, 2023.