Reviving the Origins of Street Art: Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1972/73 G…


The unveiling of ‘Graffiti Archive 1972/73: An Exhibition of Photographs from Gordon Matta-Clark’ marks a significant moment in the history of street art, showcasing a collection of photographs that capture the essence of New York City’s burgeoning graffiti scene during the early 1970s. Presented by Beyond the Streets and Control Gallery, this exhibition brings to light over 200 photographs from Matta-Clark’s archive, many of which are being displayed for the first time, offering a rare glimpse into the raw and untamed graffiti culture of that era. Running from March 1 to April 13, the event is hosted at 434 N. La Brea Ave., with further details available on and


Exploring the Early Days of Graffiti

The exhibition meticulously curated from Matta-Clark’s extensive photographic archives, highlights a pivotal period in graffiti’s evolution, capturing over 2,000 images that document the nascent stage of this art form in New York City. Visitors to the exhibition will not only witness these historical moments but also gain insights into the social and cultural contexts that shaped the graffiti movement during 1972 and 1973. The display includes original artworks by renowned graffiti artists of that era, offering a comprehensive look at the roots of street art.

A Glimpse into Gordon Matta-Clark’s Vision


Gordon Matta-Clark, an artist known for his exploration of urban spaces and architectural interventions, was one of the few individuals documenting the early graffiti scene. His photographs are more than mere records; they are a testament to the transformative power of graffiti, capturing the vibrancy, rebellion, and creativity of the artists who laid the groundwork for what has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to delve into Matta-Clark’s perspective on urban decay, social issues, and the unbridled expression found in the graffiti of the 1970s.

Implications and Reflections

The ‘Graffiti Archive 1972/73’ exhibition not only serves as a historical archive but also ignites discussions on the significance of graffiti as a form of social and artistic expression. By presenting these photographs, Beyond the Streets and Control Gallery invite visitors to reflect on the evolution of street art, its impact on urban culture, and its ongoing dialogue with contemporary society. As the exhibition closes on April 13, it leaves a lasting impression of the indelible mark graffiti has left on the world, encouraging a deeper appreciation for its origins and evolution.

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