Basquiat

SCHUNCK* is proud to present Basquiat, The Artist and His New York Scene: the European premiere of the early work and life of visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries. The exhibition is set to take place from February 2, 2019 to June 2, 2019 in Heerlen.

The exhibition consists of three parts:

1. Basquiat Before Basquiat

SCHUNCK* will show in its entirety the exhibition Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition features early works, objects and documentation of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s formative years before he made his breakthrough onto the New York art scene. It was during this period that he shared a small apartment on East 12th Street with his friend Alexis Adler. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, the exhibition explores how life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice. Basquiat Before Basquiat is curated by Nora Burnett Abrams, curator at MCA Denver.

See also the review of the exhibition in the New York Times.

2. Times Square Show

Basquiat showed his work for the first time in the scene-defining Times Square Show in 1980. The show marked the emergence of a cross-over culture and the ‘urban culture’. It brought together art, graffiti, music, fashion, performance, poetry and dance in a cultural mix. The exhibition, with more than 100 artists, opened under the artistic vision of New York City artists’ group Colab, in an abandoned building on Seventh Avenue and 41st Street which used to be a massage parlor. One of Basquiat’s pieces was the event’s outside sign board. On it he had scrawled in big letters SEX, scandalizing some contemporaries. Participating artists included: Keith Haring, Fab Five Freddy, Kenny Scharf, Jenny Holzer, John Ahearn, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Christy Rupp, Jane Dickson, and Tom Otterness. The special events during the Times Square Show included films and performances by Nan Goldin, Jim Jarmusch and others.

3. From NY to Heerlen NL

The third part of the exhibition reflects on the Dutch reception of Basquiat and the artists of the Times Square Show. The influence of this movement on Dutch collections, painters and the graffiti scene is highlighted.

About the artist

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988), born in Brooklyn to a Haitian father and Puerto Rican mother, emerged from the hiphop, post-punk and graffiti & street performance scene in New York. With no formal art training, the high-school dropout used the city’s walls as his canvas. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic phrases in the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s. He astonished the New York scene by making the transition from graffiti artist to internationally acclaimed Neo-Expressionist in just a couple of years. Decades after his drug-related death at the age of 27, his works and his artistic language continue to fascinate the public all over the world. Basquiat remains one of the most important and influential artists of the modern and contemporary art period.

Documentory 'Boom for real'

The documentary ‘BOOM FOR REAL, The late teenage years of Jean-Michel Basquiat’ (NL premiere at IDFA 2018) examines the exact period that the exhibition adresses in SCHUNCK *. View the trailer below.

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