New Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit Celebrates The Artist Pre-Fame
Photo courtesy of Alexis Adler
A new exhibit on Jean-Michel Basquiat focuses on the artist's work and life during the time he lived with former girlfriend Alexis Adler.
Titled "Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980" the exhibit, which is being shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, is the first to show the work of Basquiat when he and Adler lived together in a sixth-floor walk-up in the East Village of Manhattan.
The exhibit features photos and art objects that Adler preserved throughout the years. The Denver museum has also built a partial recreation of the flat Basquiat and Adler lived in, as well as a reproduction of the building's hallways and stairwells that the artist graffitied on.
"Basquiat's time with Alexis was an important transitional moment because he was still exploring many creative outlets with equal passion, including playing music, performance, drawing and writing," Nora Abrams, the show's curator, said in an interview with The New York Times.
"This material was virgin territory," Adam Lerner, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, added. "Drawings, collages, sculptures, notebooks, scripts and photos of Basquiat performing and creating during this time — about a year before his mature work — and yet all of it completely unstudied or even dated, titled or cataloged."
The show opened back on February 11, and will remain open until May 7, 2017.
Back in December of last year a collection of unreleased Basquiat art made its debut at Miami's Art Basel.
The exhibit featured a range of Basquiat's work — including paintings, collages, and drawings — created by the artist between 1979 and 1981, in his good friend Lonny Lichtenberg's New York apartment. Al Diaz, a close friend of Basquiat's, also helped curate the exhibit. The name Diaz might sound familiar, considering he's the artist Basquiat collaborated with during his graffiti days, creating the infamous SAMO graffiti tag that was painted throughout the streets of downtown Manhattan in the late 1970s.