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It's about 80% anger.

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--Jean-Michel Basquia t

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Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce a major exhibition of wor ks by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Featuring over fifty works from public and private collections\, the exhibition spans Basquiat's brief but meteori c career\, which ended with his death at the age of twenty-seven. Thirty ye ars after Larry Gagosian first presented his work in Los Angeles\, twenty y ears after the first posthumous survey at the Whitney Museum of American Ar t (1992-93)\, and eight years after the Brooklyn Museum of Art retrospectiv e (2005)\, viewers will have a fresh opportunity to consider Basquiat's cen tral role in his artistic generation as a lightning rod and a bridge betwee n cultures.

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Basquiat left his family home in Brooklyn at the age of fifteen and took to the streets. A voracious autodidact\, he quickly becam e a denizen of the explosive and decadent New York underground scene--a noi se musician who loved jazz\, and a street poet who scrawled his sophisticat ed aphorisms in Magic Marker across the walls of downtown Manhattan\, copyr ighting them under the name SAMO. In 1981\, he killed off this alter ego an d began painting\, first on salvaged materials then later on canvas\, and m aking bricolage with materials scavenged from the urban environment. From t he outset he worked compulsively. He sold his first painting in 1981\, and by 1982\, spurred by the Neo-Expressionist art boom\, his work was in great demand. In 1985\, he was featured on the cover of The New York Times M agazine in connection with an article on the newly exuberant internati onal art market. It was unprecedented for an African-American artist\, and for one so young. In that photograph\, Basquiat is a vision of cool\, spraw led in a chair in front of one of his bold paintings in an elegant three-pi ece suit and tie\, with bunched dreadlocks and bare feet.

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Charismat ic image aside\, Basquiat was a unique and prodigious artistic talent\, fus ing drawing and painting with history and poetry to produce an artistic lan guage and content that was entirely his own\, and which enunciated alternat ive histories\, such as Discography (1982)\, Brothers Sausage< /em> (1983)\, and Revised Undiscovered Genius of the Mississippi Delta< /em> (1983). Combining the tools of graffiti (Magic Marker\, spray enamel) with those of fine art (oil and acrylic paint\, collage\, and oil stick)\, his best paintings maintain a powerful tension between opposing aesthetic f orces--expression and knowledge\, control and spontaneity\, savagery and wi t\, urbanity and primitivism--while providing acerbic commentary on the har sher realities of race\, culture\, and society. In vividly colored canvases \, forceful\, schematic figures and menacing\, masklike faces are inscribed against fields jostling with images\, signs\, symbols\, and words used lik e brushstrokes. The frenetic\, allover quality of many of the large works s uggests a drive towards a sort of disjunctive mapping rather than the build ing of a classically unified composition\, where seemingly unrelated marks suddenly coalesce in syncopated rhythms-like the best experimental jazz.

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Basquiat's iconography reflects the precocious breadth of his inspira tions and preoccupations--from classical poetry to human anatomy\, from spo rt to music\, from politics to philosophy\, from the arts of Africa to Pica sso\, de Kooning\, and Rauschenberg. Obnoxious Liberals (1982) and Baby Boom (1982) suggest an angry bohemian's pet peeves with cont emporary mores. There are pictographic crowns\, favored by graffiti artists to confer status\, and warriors\, whose significance is literal--as in the tributes to African American boxing champions Cassius Clay (1982) \, Jersey Joe (1983) Untitled (Sugar Ray Robinson) (1982) --or metaphorical--as in Warrior (1982) and (Untitled) Julius Caesar on Gold (1981). Cars\, cops\, street games\, and skyscrapers re flect the hustle of the city in With Strings Two (1982)\, Unti tled (L.A. Painting) (1982)\, and Irony of a Negro Policeman (1981)\, while Self-Portrait (1984) and The Thinker (1986 ) are more evidently self-referential and introspective. The skull\, a trad itional motif of the vanitas\, appeared very early in Basquiat's o euvre and remained a constant obsession amidst a thick and fast flow of sub jects. Consider this when comparing the whimsical Bicycle Man (198 4) and Riding with Death (1988)\, painted just four years later: t he man on a bicycle in the earlier painting has been transformed into a nak ed figure astride a skeletal horse in the later one-a somber\, elegiac imag e with which Basquiat the supernova\, buckling under the alienating effects of fame and addiction\, ended his career and his life.

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< strong>Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in New York City in 1960\, wh ere he died in 1988. Major exhibitions include "Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paint ings 1981-1984\," Fruitmarket Gallery\, Edinburgh (1984\; traveled to Insti tute of Contemporary Arts\, London\; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen\, Ro tterdam\, through 1985)\; Kestnergesellschaft\, Hannover (1987\, 1989)\; Wh itney Museum of American Art\, New York (1993\; traveled to Menil Collectio n\, Houston\; Des Moines Art Center\, Iowa\; and Montgomery Museum of Fine Art\, Alabama\, through 1994)\; "Basquiat\," Brooklyn Museum of Art\, New Y ork (2005\; traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art\, Los Angeles\; and Muse um of Fine Arts\, Houston\, through 2006)\; and Fondation Beyeler\, Basel\, Switzerland (2010\; traveled to Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris). Basquiat starred in Downtown 81\, a verité movie that was written by Glenn O'Brien and shot by Edo Bertoglio in 1981\, but not released unti l 1998.

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DTEND:20130406 DTSTAMP:20141121T122833 DTSTART:20130207 GEO:40.7492112;-74.0056893 LOCATION:Gagosian Gallery- 24th St.\,555 West 24th Street \nNew York\, NY SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Jean-Michel Basquiat UID:257400 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130207T200000 DTSTAMP:20141121T122833 DTSTART:20130207T180000 GEO:40.7492112;-74.0056893 LOCATION:Gagosian Gallery- 24th St.\,555 West 24th Street \nNew York\, NY SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Jean-Michel Basquiat UID:257401 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR