Edo Bertoglio. Jean-Michel Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81, 1980-1981. © New York Beat Film LLC. By permission of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat



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The SCHIRN is dedi­cating a major survey to one of the greatest artists of 20th-century: Jean-Michel Basquiat.


from 16 February 2018

In the late 1970s, Jean-Michel Basquiat teamed up with Al Diaz to write enigmatic graffiti statements across the city under the pseudonym SAMO©. Soon he was drawing in his own blood, collaging baseball cards, creating his own clothing, and painting on doors, window frames, and enormous home-made canvases. Today, Basquiat (1960–1988) is recognised as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Having come of age in the post-punk underground art scene in Lower Manhattan, he conquered the art world and gained widespread international recognition, becoming the youngest artist ever to participate in documenta in Kassel in 1982.

Basquiat’s raw, vibrant imagery is matched by a startling erudition, seen in the fragments of bold, capitalised text that abound in his works. These bear witness to his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young artist with no formal training. More than thirty years since Basquiat’s last major exhibition in Germany, the SCHIRN is presenting a major survey devoted to this American artist, organised in collaboration with Barbican Art Gallery, London. The exhibition is also the first to focus on Basquiat’s relationship to music, text, film and television, situating the artist’s formidable talents within a broader cultural context.

An exhibition in cooperation with the Barbi­can Art Gallery, London