Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980

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November 17th – March 11th
Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm
The exhibition includes the entire cache of works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat during the year he lived with his friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in the East Village. This archival material provides rare insight into the artistic life of Basquiat before he was recognized as a prominent painter in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment, Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, this exhibition explores how the context of life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice.

As Adler notes, “From mid-1979 to mid-1980, I lived with Jean in three different apartments, but for most of that time in an apartment that we moved into and shared on East 12th St. This was a time before Jean had canvases to work with, so he used whatever he could get his hands on, as he was constantly creating. The derelict streets of the East Village provided his raw materials and he would bring his finds up the six flights of stairs to incorporate into his art. Jean was able to make money for paint and his share of the rent, which was $80 a month, by selling sweatshirts on the street. He knew that he was a great artist.”

The exhibition and accompanying catalogue present New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s through the prism of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art and provide a window into the art-rich time that he emerged from as well as impacted so profoundly. It will sharpen and deepen our understanding of this artist at a vital yet mostly unknown, or at least under-discussed, moment of his career. Ultimately, this exhibition will attest to Basquiat’s virtuosity in formation—the creative impulses that yielded a distinctive voice, but also the many diversions or paths he explored as he was developing a signature style.
Categories: Exhibits
Add to Calendar 11/17/2018 03/11/2018 America/Detroit Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 The exhibition includes the entire cache of works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat during the year he lived with his friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in the East Village. This archival material provides rare insight into the artistic life of Basquiat before he was recognized as a prominent painter in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment, Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, this exhibition explores how the context of life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice.

As Adler notes, “From mid-1979 to mid-1980, I lived with Jean in three different apartments, but for most of that time in an apartment that we moved into and shared on East 12th St. This was a time before Jean had canvases to work with, so he used whatever he could get his hands on, as he was constantly creating. The derelict streets of the East Village provided his raw materials and he would bring his finds up the six flights of stairs to incorporate into his art. Jean was able to make money for paint and his share of the rent, which was $80 a month, by selling sweatshirts on the street. He knew that he was a great artist.”

The exhibition and accompanying catalogue present New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s through the prism of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art and provide a window into the art-rich time that he emerged from as well as impacted so profoundly. It will sharpen and deepen our understanding of this artist at a vital yet mostly unknown, or at least under-discussed, moment of his career. Ultimately, this exhibition will attest to Basquiat’s virtuosity in formation—the creative impulses that yielded a distinctive voice, but also the many diversions or paths he explored as he was developing a signature style.
39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304 aBiAKdWFvzLJBiabzmaP28799 MM/DD/YYYY
Tickets:
Ticket Prices, Admission, Fees: Free for ArtMembers, Children under 12, Adults $10, Seniors $8, Students $6
Phone for tickets/more information: (248) 645-3320
Email for tickets/more information: [email protected]
Website for tickets/more information: http://www.cranbrookartmuseum.org/exhibition/basquiat-basquiat-east-12th-street-1979-1980/
Parking Cost and Availability:
Free
Accessibility Information:
Barrier free access to the galleries of Cranbrook Art Museum can be accommodated through the adjacent New Studios Building. Visitors with disabilities are encouraged to call the Front Desk of the Art Museum at (248) 645-3320 during regular museum hours for assistance. If you are planning your visit in advance, you may also call the Art Museum Administrative Offices at (248) 645-3319 for additional information. Wheelchairs are available to use free of charge on a first come first served basis at the Visitor Service desk.
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