Since the early days of the graffiti movement in late 1970s New York, street art has transformed cities around the world. Today it is a hugely popular, yet still highly controversial art form. In Abstract Graffiti, Cedar Lewisohn provides a vibrant account of the 'outer limits' of street art and graffiti that are being explored by artists in cities as diverse as London, Prague, Philadelphia and Sao Paulo. The work of these artists is 'abstract' not necessarily in the sense that it is non-figurative; rather, it may embrace a fresh, abstract approach to art. Lewisohn interviews both established graffiti artists and new practitioners of avant-garde forms of art in public spaces - such as Knit Graffiti and Street Training - and traces the art-historical lineage of these abstract trends. Addressing such issues as street art as a form of protest, graffiti as a crime, the place of street art in museums, and the evolution of materials, this book offers unrivalled insight into some of the most exciting and challenging work on the contemporary art scene.
The book is far less coffee table book than it is art history primer. Dominated by interviews with artists, writers, activists and one London judge, Lewisohn concerns himself more with individuals who've had a pivotal or lasting impact on the abstract side of the movement, rather than any media-hyped superstars. In other words, Abstract Graffiti is more about the hows and whys, and less about the whos. - PLANET MAGAZINE ... a thoughtful presentation of an art form too frequently overlooked. - MONSTERS & CRITICS Cedar Lewisohn introduces us to different concepts, the things he calls the 'outer limits' of street art. It's refreshing in its unrestricted angle/slant on the street art scene at the mo. - THE RAD DAD COLLECTIVE Abstract Graffiti by Cedar Lewisohn has something new to offer the genre - and introduces you to a whole new world of graffiti and street art that is currently going on with a world perspective. - MAGIK CITY
Cedar Lewisohn is a writer, artist and curator based in London. He curated the exhibition Street Art at Tate Modern in 2008 and is the author of the book Street Art: The Graffiti Revolution, published in the same year.