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"Basquiat x Warhol" at The Brant Foundation

Basquiat x Warhol Travels to The Brant Foundation in New York

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“Basquiat x Warhol” is the First New York Show of its Kind in Decades

Even decades after their passing, the creative collaboration between visionaries Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol is not something the art world is soon to forget. An entire exhibition devoted to the pair and their partnered artistic ventures can be found at The Brant Foundation’s East Village location in New York City under the title “Basquiat x Warhol” from now until January 7, 2024.

Traveling from its first iteration at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, the show has been curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart and Peter M. Brant with Dr. Anna Karina Hofbauer, bringing together the collaborative artworks in the first major New York exhibition of its kind in over 20 years.

Installation View, “Basquiat x Warhol,” The Brant Foundation; photo by Tom Powel Imaging, © 2023 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“In their collaboration, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol came together and opened new ideas and spaces of thought that mirror both our present time as well as the past and future,” said Dr. Buchart. “The results are brilliant artworks that continue to have an impact in our own time as they appear to address pressing and highly relevant contemporary topics such as racism and consumerism. Their collaboration was a unique project and probably one of the greatest and most enduring in all of art history.”

Two Visionaries Connect: The Collaborative Work of Basquiat and Warhol

The relationship between Basquiat and Warhol came about after gallerist Bruno Bischofberger introduced the pair on October 4, 1982. Mere hours later, Basquiat produced the double portrait of himself and Warhol, Dos Cabezas, based on a polaroid taken upon their meeting. It wasn’t until 1984, however, when the pair began their cooperative practice that resulted in more than 160 canvases and even a few sculptural works—many of which can be found making up the presentation at The Brant Foundation.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Dos Cabezas,” 1982, Acrylic and oil stick on canvas with wood supports, 60 x 60 inches; © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, licensed by Artestar, New York.

Meeting almost daily for a period, Warhol and Basquiat worked back and forth in a creative exchange that yielded imagery that is an amalgam of their respective creative signatures—energetic, even feverish visuals employing pop art imagery and the somewhat abstracted style attributed to Basquiat. “Andy would start one [painting] and put something very recognizable on it, or a product logo, and I would sort of deface it. Then I would try to get him to work some more on it, I would try to get him to do at least two things,” Basquiat said of their partnership.

“Basquiat x Warhol” Presents Art Ahead of its Time

At the time of their inception, Basquiat and Warhol’s collaborative works weren’t greatly accepted in the mainstream art world. Working around topics like police brutality, colonialism, and gentrification, the pair’s collaborative efforts spanned topics and issues that are still at the forefront of the collective culture today, as though the visionaries were simply working ahead of their time.

Jean-Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol, “Black Paramount,” 1984, Acrylic on canvas 76 x 118 inches; © 2023 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat; licensed by Artestar, New York.

Pieces like Cops bears a Basquiat crown, the Arm & Hammer logo, and a collage of type painted overtop. Black Paramount is a large-scale canvas covered with imagery like the star-studded Paramount logo and elements of a more cryptic nature, like collections of numbers, rocket ships, a map of China, and collections of windows, words, and other markings.

At once historic and strangely current, the show draws attention to compositions that place the significance of this artistic collaboration while exploring the pair’s shared inspirations and the issues that fueled their practices.

Installation View, “Basquiat x Warhol,” The Brant Foundation; photo by Tom Powel Imaging, © 2023 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Jean-Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol, “Dollar Sign,” 1984–85, Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 20 x 16 inches; © 2023 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat; licensed by Artestar, New York.

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In Miami for Art Week and not sure where to start? Visit some of these best Miami exhibitions at spaces across the city.
At Fortnight Institute, Danny Sobor’s solo show of new paintings “Just a window. In,” is on view through December 23.
At D.D.D.D., artist’s Kate Liebman solo show of now work, “Hopscotch,” is on view now through February 19.

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