Basquiat: Boom for Real

SCHIRN Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
16 Feb 2018 - 27 May 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real

In the late 1970s, Jean-Michel Basquiat teamed up with Al Diaz to write enig­matic graf­fiti state­ments across New York City under the pseu­donym SAMO©. Soon he was 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 painters 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. 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.

Exhi­bi­tion curated by Barbican Centre, London, in coop­er­a­tion with the SCHIRN Kunsthalle Frankfurt.


As part of the exhi­bi­tion BASQUIAT. BOOM FOR REAL, the New York under­ground club scene of the 1970s and 1980s is cele­brating a revival at the SCHIRN: Every Thursday from 7 p.m. the CROWN CLUB opens its doors. Inspired by New York’s Mudd Club, talks, parties, film screen­ings and read­ings are held in a club atmos­phere that is some­times true to the orig­inal style and some­times rein­ter­preted. The orig­inal Mudd Club was a place where Lower Manhat­tan’s creative scene convened: Here Jean-Michel Basquiat met musi­cians and bands like Madonna, Lou Reed, DNA or Talking Heads, designers and performers like Betsey Johnson and Klaus Nomi, or young, inde­pen­dent film­makers like Glenn O’Brien. The result was an exchange that remains evident in the artist’s works to this day. Basquiat sampled that which he surrounded himself with.

Opening Thursday, February 22, 2018, From 7 p.m.

The opening of the CROWN CLUB is being hosted by David Roth and Carl Jakob Haupt from DANDY DIARY – one of the best known men’s fashion and lifestyle blogs in Germany. Famous to the point of noto­riety, DANDY DIARY is known for its parties at the fashion weeks in New York, Berlin and Copen­hagen.


SCHIRN Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg 6
60311 Frankfurt am Main




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