The RETNA (aka MARQUIS LEWIS) “Silver Lining” show opened to large crowds in the Miami Design district, on one of the biggest nights of Basel Miami Beach 2010. Artists, buyers, and fans alike filled the space and were on hand to view the amazing talent that is RETNA.
Put together by Primary Projects (Primary Flight’s project organization), RETNA’s “Silver Lining” offered us a glimpse of the artist’s fine art works. Paper works were joined by large wall murals in one of the best retrospectives of the artist’s work to date.
RETNA was influential in the early 90’s mural scene in Los Angeles, blurring the borders between “fine” art and “street” works. Known for his ornate style, RETNA utilyzed both the brush and spray paint can to create murals that trancended boundaries and ideas regarding street art. Today the artist works in collaboration with other artists on large scale mural projects, most notably El Mac, to take his delicate line work murals into new worlds of artistry.
Overall we really enjoyed this show, it was really a throwback into the cryptic writing style that has made RETNA so well known. His lettering style feels like a homage to language of the past – Sumerian perhaps – and it’s this familiarity that reaches down into the soul and somehow makes us feel at home.
RETNA is now capturing the attention of the museum community. Jeffrey Deitch recently completed a forward on the artist for Juxtapoz magazine and we doubt it will be long before he is doing the sides of museums instead of walls in industrial neighborhoods.
In addition, RETNA and EL MAC teamed up to paint a 30-foot-tall man throwing his hands to the sky on the western wall of The Margulies Collection at the WAREHOUSE. A highlight in the Wynwood Arts District neighborhood, where street art takes hold during Basel.
For more infomation about this show visit Primary Flight:
or RETNA’s personal site at:
Photography by Michael Cuffe for Warholian.com