New Yorkers will need to head west this summer to see the controversial "Art in the Streets" exhibition currently at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Museum announced Tuesday morning that it will pull the exhibition from its spring roster, citing the financial climate. The show will conclude in L.A. on August 8; its second and final stop was to be Brooklyn, where "Art in the Streets" was scheduled for March 30–July 8, 2012.
Tracking the street art from the '70s to the present, "Art in the Streets" highlights the work of 50 artists from the worlds of graffiti and street-art and offers a special section devoted to street-art subcultures such as skateboarding. The exhibition's organizers-MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch and associate curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose—also put particular emphasis on documentation, ephemera and site-specific installation.
The show would have been the third of a recent run of shows traded by the museums involving street art and commercial forms. In 2005, L.A. MOCA took the Brooklyn-organized "Basquiat," a show about New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and in 2007 they exchanged the MOCA-originated "©MURAKAMI."
MOCA recently announced on its blog "The Curve" that graffiti artist Banksy will sponsor free admission to the museum every Monday for the duration of the show. This past Monday, the first free day, MOCA saw some 3,000 visitors to the exhibition. The museum estimates that the show will be the most successful in its history in terms of attendance, with 10,000-12,000 visitors per week.
However, the show has caused controversy. Weeks after the show's debut, the Los Angeles Police Department reported a surge in vandalism in the Little Tokyo area of L.A., right near the museum's entrance. L.A. MOCA has reported that multiple museums across the country have expressed interest in the show and it may travel after all.