RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour
The Old Dairy, 7 Wakefield St, London, WC1N 1PB
9 June – 27 June 2011
Preview: Wednesday 8 June 2011, 6-9pm
An exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based artist RETNA will be presented by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida at the Old Dairy, London, from 9 June until 27 June 2011. The Hallelujah World Tour represents RETNA’s first solo UK exhibition.
RETNA’s work draws on an array of influences including Asian calligraphy, Incan and Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew and Arabic script, traditional UK gang style graffiti writings and the tagging and graffiti seen in Los Angeles since the 1970’s . Within these traditions he has created a distinct and innovative style. RETNA presents 30 new works fusing a variety of different mediums including drawing, painting and poetry.
Yielding an unmistakable aesthetic, he has emerged as one of the most prolific graffiti artists in the contemporary art world. Since the mid-1990s RETNA has participated in over 30 international exhibitions, and his work was recently selected to feature in ‘Art in the Streets’, a major retrospective of street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. Gallery Director Jeffrey Deitch commented, ‘The approach to his work is so internalized that Retna doesn’t have to agonize, and think, what do I do next? He just starts in the upper left corner and moves across a surface. The only other artist that I know who was able to do that was Keith Haring.’
Retna was introduced to L.A.’s mural culture from an early age, and whilst still at school led one of the largest and most innovative graffiti art collectives in the city. He is best known for appropriating fashion advertisements and amplifying them with his unique layering, intricate line work, text-based style and incandescent color palette reflecting an eclectic artistic tradition.
Recent projects have included a solo exhibition, ‘Silver Lining’, during Art Basel Miami Beach at Primary Projects (2010); the world’s largest street level mural Installation, ‘Primary Flight’ (2010); a solo exhibition, ‘Desaturated’, at New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2010); a mural for the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, Florida (2009); and ‘Vagos y Reinas’ at Robert Berman Gallery (2009).
This exhibition represents the second part of a three stop world tour of RETNA’s work, in collaboration with Bombardier Business Aircraft and VistaJet. As part of the project, RETNA will create a unique work on the tail of one of VistaJet’s Global Express XRS aircraft. The tour began in New York in February 2011 and will conclude with an exhibition in Hong Kong later this year.
Andy Valmorbida comments, ‘At the age of 31, Retna is able to identify himself as a rising star within the international contemporary art world, and is one of the very few artists I have seen who is able to stand next to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean Michel-Basquiat in terms of identity, stroke and gesture and will hold a key place as one of the major forces in the new movement of fine Street Artists.’
The Old Dairy is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.