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Graffitis invade the Pinacothèque

This season, the masters of graffiti find their place in a museum ! It is the new hot exhibition in Paris : from March 12th to Septembre 13th, 2015, at the Pinacothèque, « Pressionnism 1970-1990, the masterpieces of graffiti on canvas » shows no less than a hundred pieces by some of the greatest artists of this movement. Basquiat, Bando, Rammellzee, Ash or Futura 2000 are among the most famous figures of this artistic movement that was considered as some kind of sub-culture for quite a long time, for it was mistakenly associated with simple street tags and attributed to a few gangs of vandals and drug addicts. Today, the time has come to recognize the importance of the twenty first years of this missunderstood aerosol-executed art by having a closer look at its history and the power of its aesthetics.


Why go ?


Nowadays, regulars of contemporary art galleries and museums are well familiar with street-art on canvas. It is true that since the 1990s, this urban art that was thought to be limited to the street has found its place in many art galleries around the globe. Thus it has become an institutionalized form of contemporary art. However, many people do not know what the graffiti movement truly looked like before 1990. Because it has not been sufficiently represented and talked about in Art History, we often believe that back then, graffiti was a form of aesthetic expression that was only executed by isolated artists, quickly and secretly on the urban walls. In truth, the movement started to federate as early as 1970. Graffiti artists gathered around sociologist Hugo Martinez to create the Union of Graffiti Artists. In workshops, not-yet famous artists as Coco and Phase 2 used to make creations on canvas that were well more elaborated than urban graffitis. And even though the movement did not yet have the resonance it has today, these pieces were presented in art galleries from the start.


Thanks to the remarkable work of curator Alain-Dominique Gallizia – a true graffiti aficionado – the exhibition « Pressionnism 1970-1990, the masterpieces of graffiti on canvas » brings a new light on the movement. The message that he wants to convey is : graffiti is not only a form of artistic expression, it is a federated movement. According to Gallizia, graffiti is even one of the few movements that allowed (and still allows) artists to unite around – not only particular aesthetics – but an aim. This exhibition is built as a journey in the land of « pressionnism », so we can finally understand its history and the ideas at stake.


Practical information


La Pinacothèque (1)

28, place de la Madeleine

Paris 8°

(Madeleine metro station – lines 12 and 14)


Opening hours


Everyday from 10.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m (counters close at 5.30 p.m)

Nocturnal openings on Wednesdays and Fridays until 8.30 p.m (counters close at 7.30 p.m)

Bank holidays : from 2 p.m to 6.30 p.m




Full price : 13€

Reduced price : 11€


How to go from Hotel du Danube ?


Travel time : 20 minutes


Take a right on rue Jacob when you get out of the hotel, then take the fourth street on the left (rue du Bac). Walk on this street until you get to the first big crossroad on which you will find the metro station « Rue du Bac ». Take metro line 12 in the direction of « Front Populaire », then get out at « Madeleine ». When you get out of the metro station, you will find yourself on the Madeleine square. The Pinacothèque is at number 28 of this square.


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