Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the most prolific artists to emerge from New York’s underground art scene in the past century. His street graffiti and graffiti-inspired paintings wove together pop culture and high art—animated works packed with vibrant, charged social commentary. Now, almost 30 years after his death, Basquiat will have a long overdue U.K. retrospective, slated to open in September 2017.
Basquiat: Boom for Real will be a thorough exhibition with more than 100 works exploring the self-taught artist’s fascination with music, film, literature and television, and its effect on his practice. The Barbicon in London will house an in-depth analysis of Basquiat’s influences, as well as a partial reconstruction of Basquiat’s first exhibition, from Diego Cortez’ 1981 group show, New York / New Wave at Manhattan’s PS1.
“People encounter image rather than works and make lots of presumptions,” said Eleanor Nairne, the retrospective’s curator. “It has been exciting to do away with some of the easy umbrella terms he gets lumped under. We hear a lot about hip-hop—we don’t hear about Steve Reich.”
Basquiat: Boom for Real will be on view at the Barbicon from Sept. 21, 2017 through Jan. 28, 2018.