City as Canvas


Street art with the name LEE, Howard the Duck hiding behind a garbage lid, and “And if art is a crime, let God forgive all”

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A compelling exhibition about the birth of New York City street art.


City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection explores the work of young graffiti “writers” in 1980s New York City through the works amassed by East Village artist and collector Martin Wong. Comprised of 150 works on canvas, sketchbooks, and photographs of graffiti writing long erased from subways and buildings, this compelling exhibition sparks conversation about the importance of street art today. The writers featured in City as Canvas include Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, and FUTURA 2000 — seminal figures in an artistic movement that altered music, fashion, and popular visual culture for decades to come.



PROSPECTUS: (full-spread) (pages)



  • Museum of the City of New York, New York: February 4 September 21, 2014
  • Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: September 18, 2015 January 24, 2016
  • Museum of the History of Bologna, Bologna, Italy: March 18June 26, 2016
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana: October 5, 2017January 28, 2018
  • Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee: September 20, 2024 – January 13, 2025


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The companion publication for City as Canvas is sponsored by Mrs. Florence Wong Fie and The Martin Wong Foundation.

Education programs in conjunction with the exhibition are made possible by a grant from the Keith Haring Foundation Inc.

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