Jean-Michel Basquiat’s family called on Sir David Adjaye to design a New York exhibition of 200 …


Sir David Adjaye OBE, photo credit: Chris Schwagga

The family of Jean-Michel Basquiat announced that the renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE will serve as an exhibition designer for Jean-Michel Basquiat: Roi Plaisir ©. The exhibition opens on April 9, 2022 at the New York monument, the Starrett-Lehigh Building and will showcase over 200 never before seen and rarely seen paintings, drawings, ephemera and artifacts to provide an intimate and multidimensional portrait of Jean-Michel that can only be told by his family.

This exhibition will create a space where the family can celebrate Jean-Michel and share his work and his history. Jean-Michel Basquiat: Roi Plaisir © is organized and produced exclusively by the estate. Rizzoli Electa will publish the accompanying book, also titled Jean-Michel Basquiat: Roi Plaisir ©, coincide with the exhibition. The family also shared the themes and environments that will make up the exhibit, each featuring artwork, artifacts and a dedicated soundtrack.

Exhibition themes:

1960 – PRESENTATION– This section of the exhibition introduces the public to Jean-Michel, his family and his heritage with several self-portraits on display.

COUNTY OF KINGS– This section gives an overview of Jean-Michel’s childhood in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico. It will include an environmental evocation of Jean-Michel’s childhood home, ephemera and works of Jean-Michel, including City-as-School newsletters, sketchbooks, notes and personal effects, personal films, interviews with family members, early drawings and sculptures.

WORLDWIDE FAMOUS– This section details Jean-Michel’s first dazzling successes, including solo exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles in 1982, as well as the youngest of 176 artists exhibited at Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. This section includes paintings and other ephemera.

IDEAL – 57 Great Jones Street Studio (August 1983) Leisure Studio– Jean-Michel Great Jones Street’s studio will be recreated and will include paintings, drawings, sketches, personal effects, his furniture, his bicycle (his main means of transport since he had difficulty taking a taxi) , and its collections of videotapes and books.

ART GALLERY– This section will include several thematic galleries with around 100 paintings and drawings. All the works belong to the Estate and most of them have never been seen before.

PALLADIUM– In 1985, Jean-Michel created two paintings, Nu-Nile and Untitled, for the VIP area of ​​New York’s iconic Palladium nightclub, the Michael Todd Room. The exhibition will recreate this space with video and soundtrack. This gallery also presents Jean-Michel’s participation in the club scene.

Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Christophe Makos

PLACE JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT– This gallery will contain oral histories of members of Jean-Michel’s family and a circle of close friends as well as prizes and posthumous exhibitions.

An internationally renowned Ghanaian-British architect, Adjaye is famous for his ingenious use of materials, his sculptural ability and his singular vision. He is the founder of Adjaye Associates which operates worldwide with studios in Accra, London and New York. Its largest project to date, the National Museum of African American History & Culture is a destination in Washington, DC. Additionally, Adjaye is known for his frequent collaborations with contemporary artists on installations and exhibitions.

Adjaye says he worked on Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure ©, “The vision of this project – recovering the story of Basquiat’s life and work and shedding new light on an artist who is only partially understood – aligns deeply with my studio’s mission to use design as a storytelling tool. I envision the exhibition as an intimate narrative journey that not only shows his pioneering career, but cultivates his spirit and mission through the eyes and insights of his own family.

“We knew almost instantly that Sir David Adjaye was the right partner for the design of this project”, shares Lisane Basquiat, “He understood and completed our vision. Working with him and his team turned out to be exactly the kind of collaboration we were looking for. “

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About Gertrude H. Kerr

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