Futura 2000. Beyond Words.

(New York, NY): No printing details, [1981].  First edition.  Announcement card.  Very rare announcement card for the landmark exhibition of graffiti works at the Mudd Club, April 9, 1981.  The exhibition curated by Keith Haring and Fab 5 Fred Braithwaite, featured works by Crash, Daze, Rammellzee, Samo (Jean-Michel Basquiat), Dondi, Futura 2000, Phase II, Fred Braithwaite, Charlie Ahearn, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, John Sex, Tseng Kwong Chi, Iggy Pop, Alan Vega, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Zephyr and others.  Beyond Words witnessed the merging of uptown and downtown trends it also marked the first time that a South Bronx hip-hop show was seen downtown, with Afrika Bambaataa performing on the show’s opening night.  While many of the artists in Beyond Words had also been included in Cortez’ show New York/New Wave at PS1 in February of 1981, Cortez’ show was a massive affair with over 100 artists and 10 times as many artworks where, of the graffiti artists, it was really only Basquiat who made a strong positive impression among reviewers. New York/New Wave had the potential to bring a number of graffiti artists into the limelight, but for most of them it came down to a brief taste of the art world and the bragging rights to say that their work was hung next to Andy Warhol’s photographs. At Beyond Words, Haze, Quiñones, Lady Pink, McGurr, Dondi White and everyone who was in both shows (besides Basquiat) finally got their chance to shine. Sure, the crowd the Mudd Club was smaller than at PS1, but the Mudd Club had the hippest crowd in the city and provided evidence that graffiti had finally arrived.  The card measures approx. 13.5cm by 10.5cm a features cover design by Futura on front and event details on back.  Additional ink notation.