886Geary-Concrete-Alphabets-0 Concrete Alphabets, an exhibition curated by Poesia at 886Geary Gallery in San Francisco opened last week bringing together the letter-based work of six contemporary artists such as Defer (Los Angeles), Faust (New York), Niels Shoe Meulman (Amsterdam), Rostarr (New York), Stohead (Germany) and Zepha-Vincent Abadie Hafez (France).
Drawing their inspiration from everything from American and European graffiti to calligraphy in addition to some historical sources the featured artists have been able to create a new body of work based on personal narratives that give form to a new and unique hybrid art form.

From the press release:

Concrete Alphabets is a group exhibition that brings together 6 contemporary artists working in the medium of analog painting, all of whom concentrate on the material qualities of letter-based work from gestural, abstract, calligraphic, hieroglyphic, and more. The artists each create and reference personal narratives from their roots as graffiti artists, but also draw inspiration from historical letter based art forms. This fusion of historical and geographical art forms such as New York Graffiti, European Graffiti, West Coast Cholo Style Writing, Calligraphy, Visual/Concrete Poetry, Script and more has lead to a new emerging hybrid art form. Contrary to contemporary postmodern artists utilizing Letterform in art for mostly conceptual purposes, or Concrete Poetry that involves a form of Visual Poetry, Concrete Alphabets acts as hybrid where each artist defines his own work based upon unique personal narratives involving aspects of Letterform/Alphabets

An important aspect of this shared perspective is how each artist has maintained and utilizes analog painting as a medium, thus allowing them to keep their own signature mark making prevalent in the artwork. This hand painted nature of their work is a key component when deciphering their underlying history as an artist and also provides deeper insight into their artwork. Repetition through countless hours are inherent within each stroke of the brush, history, energy, expression, rhythm, gesture, are just some of what you witness in each individuals hand style. Because of differing backgrounds, formal education, geographic, cultural, differences a range of conceptual elements and aesthetics is established in this exhibition. Concrete Alphabets is an introduction to an emerging group of painters who bridge today’s generation with past generations of letter-based artists. Artwork ranging from purely abstract, deconstructed letterform, hieroglyphic, to polished handwritten script, we attempt to represent with this exhibition a spectrum that establishes a deeper perspective of language/alphabets then just a word or concept.

Artists exhibiting Defer (Los Angeles), Faust (New York), Niels Shoe Meulman (Amsterdam), Rostarr (New York), Stohead (Germany), Zepha-Vincent Abadie Hafez (France).


Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.