MY NAME WAS WRIT IN WATER

Curated by Mike Malbon & Nemo Librizzi 

Featuring: Phase 2, Jon One, Futura, Rambo, Coco144, Tracy168 

Projection Photography by David Schmidlapp

In the wake of the Civil Rights movement, a generation of children took to the streets, and signed their names to the trains and walls of a crumbling New York City infrastructure. If unique autographs- like Coco 144- were a significant form of self-expression in their unadorned form, this group practice would undergo in time a transformation, what Phase 2 described as an “evolution of style” towards a convoluted new application of the alphabet Tracy 168 called “wild style”. This innovative language dismissed as “graffiti” by the media was illegible to the outsider, and a creative call-to-arms for the initiate, a battle of letters and words Rammellzee dubbed “Iconoclast Panzerism”. Finally, writers would eschew the signature altogether, and pure abstractions would serve as the artist’s calling card, beginning with Futura’s seminal non-representational “break train”. The subway era was brought to a dramatic finale with the spontaneous compositions of Jon One, who would go on painting in the same vein to artworld acclaim overseas. And in the short, rich career of Lance De Los Reyes, this story is recapitulated from his first humble Rambo tags, to an abstract body of paintings famed for sophisticated color instinct and poetic impact. In this historical context, The Trops presents My Name is Writ in Water, a survey of abstractions curated by Mike Malbon and Nemo Librizzi.

MY NAME WAS WRIT IN WATER

281 Church St, New York, NY

Dec 17 – Jan 4

CLOSING RECEPTION

TUESDAY | JAN 4 | 6-9PM