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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

Tetsuya Ishida, Untitled (Planting Trees), 2000 © Estate of Tetsuya Ishida

Art Fair

West Bund Art & Design 2021

November 12–14, 2021, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
westbundshanghai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in the eighth edition of West Bund Art & Design. The gallery will present works by Balthus, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Glenn Brown, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Tetsuya Ishida, Alex Israel, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Rudolf Stingel, Spencer Sweeney, Zao Wou-Ki, and Zeng Fanzhi, among others.

To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com.

Tetsuya Ishida, Untitled (Planting Trees), 2000 © Estate of Tetsuya Ishida

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

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Museum Exhibitions

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jailbirds, 1983 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

On View

Jean-Michel Basquiat
King Pleasure©

Opening April 9, 2022
Starrett-Lehigh Building, New York
kingpleasure.basquiat.com

Organized and curated by the family of Jean-Michel Basquiat, this exhibition of more than two hundred never-before-seen and rarely shown paintings, drawings, and artifacts tells Basquiat’s story from an intimate perspective, intertwining his artistic endeavors with his personal life, influences, and the times in which he lived. With an exhibition design by Adjaye Associates, immersive environments showcase Basquiat’s contributions to the history of art and his explorations of multifaceted cultural phenomena—including music, pop culture, and the Black experience—providing insight into his creative life and his singular voice.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jailbirds, 1983 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Duane Hanson, Medical Doctor, 1992–94 © 2022 Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Take Care
Art and Medicine

April 8–July 17, 2022
Kunsthaus Zürich
www.kunsthaus.ch

This group exhibition aims to explore the timeless human preoccupation with health by retracing key moments in medical history from the nineteenth century to present day. More than three hundred works, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, spatial installation, and performance, examine the productive interplay of sickness, pain, medicine, care, and healing. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Duane Hanson, and Damien Hirst is included.

Duane Hanson, Medical Doctor, 1992–94 © 2022 Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Cy Twombly, Untitled (North African Sketchbook), 1953 (page X) © Cy Twombly Foundation

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Gribouillage/Scarabocchio
Da Leonardo da Vinci a Cy Twombly

March 3–May 22, 2022
Villa Medici–Académie de France à Rome
www.villamedici.it

This exhibition, whose title translates to Scribbling and Doodling: From Leonardo da Vinci to Cy Twombly, includes nearly three hundred original works from the Renaissance to the present day and aims to shed light on these unconventional and often overlooked aspects of the practice of drawing. By exploring scribbling and doodling, from sketches scribbled on the backs of canvases to expansive doodles conceived as artworks in themselves, the exhibition unveils how these experimental, transgressive, regressive, or liberating mark-making gestures, which appear to flout all laws and conventions, have punctuated the history of artistic creation. Work by Jean-Michel BasquiatPablo Picasso, and Cy Twombly is included.

Cy Twombly, Untitled (North African Sketchbook), 1953 (page X) © Cy Twombly Foundation

Ed Ruscha, Double Standard #36/40, 1969 © Ed Ruscha

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On the Edge
Los Angeles Art, 1970s–1990s, from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

September 30, 2021–April 2, 2022
Bakersfield Museum of Art, California
www.bmoa.org

This exhibition highlights 150 works from the collection of Joan and Jack Quinn, which was primarily amassed between the 1970s and the 1990s. Many of their holdings were collected directly from the artists and have never changed hands or been shown publicly. The artworks they were drawn to are defined by a spirit of nonconformity, a play of new materials, a celebration of light, and the “California cool” ethos. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frank Gehry, and Ed Ruscha is included.

Ed Ruscha, Double Standard #36/40, 1969 © Ed Ruscha

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