Futura (b. Leonard Hilton McGurr) is an abstract painter whose practice first developed with graffiti in New York during the 1970s. At the time, he was one of the earliest artists to introduce abstraction into the genre. Futura was also among the first artists to be shown in contemporary art galleries in the early 1980s. Exhibitions of his work include presentations at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, as well as within the historic Times Square show of 1980, alongside Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rammellzee and Kenny Scharf. MoMA PS1 again brought the artists together in its landmark 1981 New York / New Wave exhibition. Futura collaborated with the punk band The Clash, designing their album art and painting on large-scale canvases behind the band as they performed in concert.
He has created collaborative works with Takashi Murakami in recent years and exhibited them at Kaikai KiKi Gallery in Tokyo. He worked with Virgil Abloh on collections for Off-White and Louis Vuitton and stage visuals for the designer at Coachella. Futura’s work has been shown at The New Museum, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands; and Yvon Lambert, Galerie De Noirmont, and the Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris. In 2020, the Noguchi Museum presented Futura Akari, an installation of Akari light sculptures customised by Futura; he created a large site-specific installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and he was included in the exhibition Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip Hop Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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