Friday, 22 September 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Barbican

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982
Basquiat: Boom for Real is at Barbican Art Gallery until 28 January 2018.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s star burned bright and brief. In 1976, aged 16, he and Al Diaz, working as SAMO (‘Same Old Shit’) spray painted cryptic messages on buildings in Lower Manhattan; in 1979 their partnership ended, marked by the graffito SAMO is dead. In 1980, he showed work in a mixed exhibition in New York, was picked up by a gallery and met Andy Warhol with whom he went on to collaborate. Through the early and middle 1980s he exhibited widely in America and internationally and was written about in the art press; in 1988, he died of a drug overdose, aged 27. In 2017, Untitled, 1982 sold for $110.5 million (£85 million).
The paintings he made in the 1980s pulse with energy and bristle with ideas; texts and images combine and collide in an expressionist explosion. He was a hip-hop Cy Twombly. This will be an exhilarating exhibition.
Read reviews by Waldemar Januszczak, Joe Lloyd, Sarah Kent, Mark Hudson, Jonathan Jones; read an interview with exhibition curator Eleanor Nairne.
Click on images to enlarge.
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Untitled, 1980
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Skull, 1981
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Leonardo da Vinci's Greatest Hits, 1982
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Pablo Picasso,  1984
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, Glenn, 1985
Jean-Michel-Basquiat, King Zulu, 1986
Postscript
Banksy has paid his own hommage to Basquiat with a couple of pieces on the Barbican walls -
Banksy, 2017

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