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Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984 Acrylic and oilstick on paper mounted on canvas, 38 ⅞ × 28 inches (98.7 × 71.1 cm)

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984

Acrylic and oilstick on paper mounted on canvas, 38 ⅞ × 28 inches (98.7 × 71.1 cm)

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Macho Camacho), 1982 Acrylic and oil stick on poster, 23 × 29 inches (58.4 × 73.7 cm)

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Macho Camacho), 1982

Acrylic and oil stick on poster, 23 × 29 inches (58.4 × 73.7 cm)

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981 Acrylic, oil stick and pencil on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm)© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981

Acrylic, oil stick and pencil on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm)
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013

About

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in 1960 in New York City, where he died in 1988. Born to a Haitian father and a Puerto-Rican mother, Basquiat left his family home in Brooklyn, New York at the age of fifteen and took to the streets. A voracious autodidact, he quickly became a denizen of the explosive and decadent New York underground scene—a noise musician who loved jazz, and a street poet who scrawled his sophisticated aphorisms in Magic Marker across the walls of downtown Manhattan, copyrighting them under the name SAMO. In 1981, he killed off this alter ego and began painting and drawing, first on salvaged materials then later on canvas and paper, and making bricolage with materials scavenged from the urban environment. From the outset he worked compulsively; his passion for words and music, his intense yet fluid energy, and the heterogeneous materials that he employed so freely imbued his work with urgency and excitement. He sold his first painting in 1981, and by 1982, spurred by the Neo-Expressionist art boom, his work was in great demand. In 1985, he was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in connection with an article on the newly exuberant international art market. In that photograph, Basquiat is a vision of cool, sprawled in a chair in an elegant three-piece suit and tie, with bunched dreadlocks and bare feet, in front of a large, bold painting—a supernova in the making.

Charismatic image aside, Basquiat was a prodigious young talent, fusing drawing and painting with history and poetry to produce an unprecedented artistic language and content that bridged cultures and enunciated alternative histories. Combining materials and techniques with uninhibited yet knowing and precise intent, his paintings maintain a powerful tension between opposing aesthetic forces—expression and knowledge, control and spontaneity, savagery and wit, urbanity and primitivism—while providing acerbic commentary on the harsh realities of race, culture, and society.

Basquiat is represented in several prominent museum collections all over the world. Major solo exhibitions include “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings 1981–1984,” Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (1984; traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, through 1985); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992; traveled to the Menil Collection, Houston; the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Alabama, through 1994); “Basquiat,” Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2005; traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through 2006); Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland (2010; traveled to Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris); and “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015). Basquiat starred in “Downtown 81,” a verité movie that was written by Glenn O’Brien, shot by Edo Bertoglio, and produced by Maripol in 1981, but not released until 2000.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Book Launch

Visions of the Self
Rembrandt and Now

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 6:30–8:30pm
Kenwood House, London
www.english-heritage.org.uk

In the interest of public health, this event has been postponed until further notice.

Gagosian is pleased to host a drinks reception to celebrate the release of Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now, published on the occasion of the recent eponymous exhibition at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London. Organized in partnership with English Heritage, the exhibition places Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles (c. 1665) in dialogue with self-portraits by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Picasso, as well as leading contemporary artists such as Georg Baselitz, Glenn Brown, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Giuseppe Penone, Richard Prince, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, and Rudolf Stingel, among others. The catalogue includes an introduction by Wendy Monkhouse, senior curator at English Heritage, and a text by art historian David Freedberg. To attend the free event, RSVP to londonevents@gagosian.com. Space is limited.

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Chris Burden, How to Shrink L.A., 1999 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Fair

Frieze Los Angeles 2020
How to Shrink L.A.

February 14–16, 2020, booth C06
Paramount Picture Studios, Los Angeles
frieze.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Frieze Los Angeles 2020. Taking Los Angeles’s system of highways as a literal and figurative backdrop, the selection includes Richard Prince’s full-scale car sculpture Untitled (2008) and Chris Burden’s ominously oversize L.A.P.D. Uniform (1993). The booth also includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Theaster Gates, Piero Golia, Alex Israel, Sally Mann, Adam McEwen, Cady Noland, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Robert Therrien, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works in the booth, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at frieze.com.

Download the full press release (PDF)

Chris Burden, How to Shrink L.A., 1999 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Wesselmann Still Life, 2004 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Art Fair

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

December 5–8, 2019, booth D7
Miami Beach Convention Center
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 with modern and contemporary artworks by Richard Avedon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Rachel Feinstein, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Peter MarinoAdam McEwenJoan MitchellTakashi MurakamiAlbert OehlenSteven ParrinoPablo Picasso, Rudolf Polanszky, Richard PrinceSterling RubyEd RuschaRichard SerraRudolf StingelCy TwomblyAndy WarholMary WeatherfordTom WesselmannJonas WoodChristopher Wool, and Zao Wou-Ki, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at www.artbasel.com.

Download the full press release (PDF)

Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Wesselmann Still Life, 2004 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

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Museum Exhibitions

Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, 2002 © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Alessandro Zambianchi

On View

Hey! Did you know that art does not exist

Through January 7, 2022
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
www.tamuseum.org.il

This exhibition presents more than one hundred works from Sylvio Perlstein’s intensely personal collection, which traces artists and trends that have defined the avant-garde, complex, and experimental nature of twentieth-century art. Work by Jean-Michel BasquiatDuane HansonRoy LichtensteinMan RayBrice Marden, Ed RuschaRudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol is included.

Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, 2002 © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Alessandro Zambianchi

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anthony Clarke, 1985 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Closed

Writing the Future
Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

October 18, 2020–July 25, 2021
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
www.mfa.org

The post-graffiti moment in 1980s New York City marked the transition of street art from city walls and subway trains onto canvas and into the art world. Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) became the frontrunner of this transformational movement in contemporary American art, which resulted in an unprecedented fusion of creative energies that defied long-standing racial divisions. This exhibition features Basquiat’s works in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music, and fashion, alongside works by his contemporaries, such as Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, and Rammellzee. Throughout the 1980s, these artists fueled new directions in fine art, design, and music, driving the now-global popularity of hip-hop culture.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anthony Clarke, 1985 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Procession, 1986 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Closed

Grief and Grievance
Art and Mourning in America

February 17–June 6, 2021
New Museum, New York
www.newmuseum.org

Grief and Grievance, originally conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019), is an intergenerational exhibition, bringing together thirty-seven artists working in a variety of mediums who have addressed the concept of mourning, commemoration, and loss as a direct response to the national emergency of racist violence experienced by Black communities across America. The intertwined phenomena of Black grief and a politically orchestrated white grievance are further considered, as each structures and defines contemporary American social and political life. The exhibition comprises works encompassing video, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, sound, and performance made within the last decade, along with several key historical works and a series of new commissions created in response to the concept of the exhibition. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ellen Gallagher, and Theaster Gates is included.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Procession, 1986 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Plaid), 1982, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Closed

Around Day’s End
Downtown New York, 1970–1986

September 3–November 1, 2020
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
whitney.org

This exhibition pays homage to Gordon Matta-Clark’s legendary Day’s End (1975) and features works by twenty-two artists who engaged with the Meatpacking District and West Side piers, among other downtown Manhattan locations, in the 1970s and early 1980s. The show also anticipates David Hammons’s monumental public artwork Day’s End, to be completed in December 2020 and located directly across from the Whitney in Hudson River Park. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Serra is included.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Plaid), 1982, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

See all Museum Exhibitions for Jean-Michel Basquiat