Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979–1980

Sep 7, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018

More Info

Basquiat in the apartment, 1981. Photograph by Alexis Adler. 

Painted television in the apartment, c. 1979–1980. Photograph by Alexis Adler. 

Basquiat in the apartment, 1980. Photograph by Alexis Adler. 

Basquiat in the apartment, 1981. Photograph by Alexis Adler. Painted television in the apartment, c. 1979–1980. Photograph by Alexis Adler. Basquiat in the apartment, 1980. Photograph by Alexis Adler. 

This exhibition includes the entire cache of works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat during the year he lived with his
friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in the East Village. This archival material provides rare insight into the artistic
life of Basquiat before he was recognized as a prominent painter in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment,
Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into
a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other
ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, the exhibition explores how the context of life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice.

Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979–1980 is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.