“[Jean-Michel] Basquiat painted most of his paintings within ten blocks of here, ”says Brant Foundation founder Peter Brant, pointing to the large picture windows in the foundation’s new East Village space. “We wanted to give the audience the opportunity to see the best of Basquiat’s work in the right setting. You can watch Untitled (Blue Plane), and see the same buildings Basquiat painted through the window behind him.
The new Foundation building, a former power substation on East 6th Street that was once the studio of contemporary artist Walter De Maria and was recently refurbished by Gluckman Tang architects, is, indeed, the fitting setting. “A lot of research has been done to create the moment you experience when you walk into the second floor of the show,” adds Foundation Director Allison Brant.
This research has borne fruit: the show and the space offer a breathtaking view of the artist’s universe, highlighting a resonance between the works and their location which brings a new layer of meaning to our understanding of Jean-Michel Basquiat. .
The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, presents a vast investigation into the work of Basquiat. The exhibition attracted more than 600,000 visitors during its Parisian tour. “By bringing this exhibition here, we had a different responsibility,” comments curator Dieter Buchhart. About 60% of the works on display here were in the Paris exhibit, giving Buchhart and the Brants the opportunity to add major loans from New York’s top art collectors and museums, including the iconic Whitney Museum Hollywood Africans.
“We wanted to mark this moment of change in Basquiat’s work with the stretcher wall: the moment when Basquiat came back to the normal canvas surface and made it rough and crude bigger,” Buchhart said, referring to the unprecedented installation of 16 stretchers. bar paintings that the artist created in 1982. “His work has such an influence on the culture of young people today. The way he used words, the way he made connections – this time he connected to the past, looking back into ancient history as well as into the future. Timeless.”