Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982, Acrylic and oil on linen, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
© VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2017 & Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Licensed by Artestar, New York, Courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Foto: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam

Basquiat. Boom for real – Schirn Kunsthalle

More than 30 years after Jean-Michel Basquiat's last major exhibition in Germany, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting a major survey devoted to this American artist. February 16–May 27, 2018.

Source: Schirn Kunsthalle

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) is acknowledged today as one of the most significant painters of the 20th century. Featuring more than 100 works, the exhibition at the Schirn is the first to focus on Basquiat’s relationship to music, text, film and television, placing his work within a broader cultural context. At the Schirn, an outstanding selection of paintings, drawings, notebooks and objects are presented from public and private collections, together with rare films and photographs, music and archival material, which capture the range and dynamism of Basquiat’s practice over the years.

In the late 1970s, Basquiat teamed up with Al Diaz in New York to write graffiti statements across the city under the pseudonym SAMO©. Soon he was making drawings in his own blood, collaging baseball cards and postcards and painting on clothing, doors, furniture and on enormous improvised canvases. Basquiat collaborated with many artists of his time, most famously Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. He starred in the film “New York Beat” with Blondie’s singer Debbie Harry and performed with his experimental band Gray. Basquiat created murals and installations for New York nightclubs like Area and in 1983 he produced the hip-hop record “Beat Bop” with K-Rob and Rammellzee.

Having come of age in the post-punk underground scene in Lower Manhattan, Basquiat conquered the art world and gained widespread international recognition, becoming the youngest artist ever to participate in the documenta in Kassel in 1982. Basquiat’s raw, vibrant imagery is matched by a startling erudition, seen in the fragments of bold, capitalized text that abound in his works. These bear witness to his encyclopedic interests and his experience as a young artist with no formal training.

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