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Lee Quinones: Fifty Years of Art

Lee Quinones: Fifty Years of Art

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This introductory monograph presents the monumental work of Puerto Rican born artist Lee Quiñones and follows his evolution over five decades. When 14-year old Lee embarked on his first spray paint mural in 1974, he carried marker drawings into the New York City subway train yards that served as studies to his 52-ft long rolling murals. Drawings and subway photography illustrate how Lee’s emergence served as a catalyst for what is now acknowledged as the street art movement. Before Lee, graffiti art was accessed by a small audience of young people who coveted style and scale. Images of Lee’s trains illustrate how he changed the face of the movement, infusing kinetic elements of futurism in over 120 subway car murals across the transit system. Lee invented the concept of the freestanding urban mural in his iconic 1978 “Howard the Duck” handball wall. He introduced spray-paint based work internationally when he opened his first formal exhibition in Rome, Italy in 1979, showing canvases created in a make shift Manhattan studio where Jean-Michel Basquiat also made early work, also captured in the book. Images show the social commentary and poetry used in his early expressionistic paintings. He was among the youngest artists to show at Documenta #7 in 1983, at age 22, depicted in portraits of the artist with his work from that era. He influenced peers Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Jenny Holzer and David Wojnarowicz, who are shown viewing Lee’s work. Subsequent paintings convey how Lee’s practice has shaped a generation of contemporary artists. His paintings continue to revolutionize spray paint technique and intermix the tools of graffiti with traditional charcoal, pencil, ink, and printed matter.

The imagery captures the mood and urgency of 1980s New York and moves from the streets to the intimacy and maturity of Lee’s contemporary studio environment.

Publisher: Damiani
ISBN: 9788862088114
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 280 x 240 mm

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