Like every maudit artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat succeeded in weaving a legend around himself and his art in the space of a few years. He died in 1988 at the age of twenty-seven.

Curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Gianni Mercurio
Almost 100 works from private collections, the retrospective exhibition runs through the short but intense career of Basquiat, which ended with the premature death at the age of only twenty-seven.

With his direct, and seemingly childlike approach, he brought fundamental themes of human identity and the painful, unresolved issue of race to the attention of the wider public.

Basquiat was a significant figure in American contemporary history, because he was an artist – unique in his time – who melded the all-consuming energy of New York with his origins scarred by slavery and diaspora.

Twenty years after his first posthumous exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1992-93), and ten years after the retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2005), this exhibition will show Basquiat’s central role in the generation of his peers artists and the function of his art as a bridge connecting different cultures

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