The work of a pioneering street artist Richard Hambleton is to be celebrated with a posthumous retrospective set to open in London next week. Known for his black ‘shadowman’ silhouettes that appeared unexpectedly in corners, alleyways and on walls across lower Manhattan in the glory days of the early-80s, Richard Hambleton is often thought of as a dominant force in the emergence of the city-as-medium school.
The show, entitled Richard Hambleton: Shadowman will contain 60 original works and photographs, including many that are rare or previously unseen, and runs at the Leake Street Arches space from 13 — 15 September.
Born in Canada in 1952, Richard studied in Vancouver before moving to San Francisco, and eventually to New York. Toward the end of the 70s, he adopted the pseudonym Mr Ree and traversed across North America splattering pavements with fake police chalk outlines. It was while in New York that he buddied up with two of the city’s future stars; Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Back in 2011, French artist Blek Le Rat said of Richard’s haunting and haunted silhouettes that, “all his characters emanate an energy that only a grand artist can create,” noting that it was Richard’s “highly stylised mixture of drips, strokes and splashes,” that made his work so distinctive and powerful.