JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT – The Exhibition

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Image courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
From 03 October 2018 to 14 January 2019
Fondation Louis Vuitton
  
The work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most significant painters of the 20th century, is spread over four levels of Frank Gehry’s building.
The exhibition covers the painter’s whole career, from 1980 to 1988, focusing on 120 defining works. With the Heads from 1981-1982, gathered for the first time here, and the presentation of several collaborations between Basquiat and Warhol, the exhibition includes works previously unseen in Europe, essential works such as Obnoxious Liberals (1982), In Italian (1983), and Riding with Death (1988), as well as paintings which have rarely been seen since their first presentations during the artist’s lifetime, such as Offensive Orange (1982), Untitled (Boxer) (1982), and Untitled (Yellow Tar and Feathers) (1982).
  
  

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Image courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton

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At a young age, Jean-Michel Basquiat left school and made his first studio in the streets of New York. Very quickly, his painting achieved great success, which the artist both sought out and felt subjected to. His work refers back to the eruption of modernity, that of the expressionists, but his filiations are numerous. The acuteness of his gaze, his visits to museums, and the reading of a number of books gave him a real sense of culture. Yet his gaze was directed: the absence of black artists being painfully evident, the artist imposed the need to depict African American culture and revolts in equal measure in his work. Basquiat’s death in 1988 interrupted a very prolific body of work, carried out in under a decade, with over one thousand paintings and even more drawings.

  
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Image courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton

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The exhibition is spread over nearly 2500m2. It is organised chronologically, but also by groups of works which define themes and invite comparisons. For Dieter Buchhart, “The exhibition follows his work, from the first drawings and monumental works to the later prints, collages and assemblages, shedding light on his inimitable touch, use of words, phrases and enumerations, and his recourse to concrete hip hop poetry. To the image of the African American man threatened by racism, exclusion, oppression and capitalism, he opposed warriors and heroes.”.
  
more. www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr

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