Exhibition: Martha Cooper's Life Work

StolenSpace Gallery exhibits works by Martha Cooper, one of the first photographers to document graffiti culture in New York

StolenSpace Gallery in London is to host a solo show of works by the globe-trotting photojournalist Martha Cooper. Life Work will track Cooper's images of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the present day.

Born in 1940s Baltimore and obsessed with photography from a young age, Cooper spent much of her twenties travelling. On one occasion, she motorcycled from Bangkok to London. She returned to the US in the 1970s, soon becoming a staff photographer for the New York Post.

During this period, Cooper began to shoot the city’s graffiti, chronicling a form of expression that had rarely been regarded as art before. Her photobook Subway Art, released in 1984 in collaboration with photographer Henry Chalfont, became an important document of this urban ephemera, and Cooper has continued snapping street scenes around the world ever since.

Cooper herself will soon appear in London for a public talk at at Central Saint Martins entitled Chasing Visual Play, a conversation between Cooper, criminal defence barrister Yogain Chandarana, and artist Tom Oswald.