Zeitgeist: the Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat
January 25 - March 22
Walter E Terhune Gallery
Public Reception: February 9th, 5-7
Film Screening: February 9th, 7 pm
Q/A with Curator Carlo McCormick follows film
Featuring works by:
Alexis Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Ted Barron, Robert Carrithers, Henry Chalfant,
Brett De Palma, Al Diaz, Vivienne Dick, Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Robert Goldman aka Bobby G, Godlis,
Nan Goldin, Michael Holman, Becky Howland, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, Justen Ladda, Ann Messner, Mary-Ann Monforton, James Nares, Glenn O’Brien, Franc Palaia, Lee Quiñones, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Luc Sante, Kenny Scharf, Robin Winters, and Bob Gruen
Samo: As An End To Mindwash Religion, Nowhere Politics And Bogus Philosophy
Silkscreen on canvas, 22 x 27 inches, 2013
This extraordinary exhibition focuses on the creative community Jean-Michel Basquiat helped galvanize in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—a time when decay and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity and where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, or self-promotion.
Zeitgeist complements and amplifies the film by Sara Driver, BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat which was released from Magnolia Pictures last May. Driver teamed with culture critic Carlo McCormick and Mary-Ann Monforton associate publisher of BOMB Magazine, along with the New York gallery Howl! Happening to curate this expansive exhibition which features works and ephemera by Basquiat himself and more than 3o friends and contemporaries, including Nan Goldin, Kenny Scharf, Al Diaz, and Lee Quiñones.
Zeitgiest runs from January 25 through March 22. A Public reception for the exhibition will be held on February 9th from 5-7 pm followed by a public screening of the film BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Special guest for both the exhibition reception and the film will be curator Carlo McCormick.
Known today for his outsized role in the rise of Neo Expressionism and recent record breaking auction sales, the late Jean-Michel Basquiat was first recognized for his graffiti work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the emerging artistic circles there, the focus was not on creating content the established art market could readily digest and profit from, but on creating a community that stood in opposition - fostering unfiltered, uninhibited expression.
Basquiat’s work illuminated the contradictions of society – its opposing realities, inequalities, injustices – through a mix of disparate artistic traditions and unrefined, raw emotion fueled by the punk and hip-hop movements of the time. In only a few years, he went from supporting himself through panhandling and selling painted t shirts and postcards while homeless, to being one of the most celebrated artists in New York, bringing the street level politics of what was an underground counter-culture collective with him into the spotlight.
Zeitgeist offers a unique opportunity to revisit the explosive, pre-fame period of Basquiat and his contemporaries. For these creators, to be a penniless published poet or a musician gigging at a local club was the height of success. In the rawness of the work, the focus on street art and graffiti, and the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines, the era has become a flash point for younger generations seeking to learn about and understand the authenticity, closeness, and community expressed in the work of the artists in this truly unique exhibition.
Featured artists and friends in both the film and exhibition include:
Alexis Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Ted Barron, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Carrithers, Henry Chalfant, Brett De Palma, Al Diaz, Vivienne Dick, Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Robert Goldman aka Bobby G, Godlis, Nan Goldin, Michael Holman, Becky Howland, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, Justen Ladda, Ann Messner, Mary-Ann Monforton, James Nares, Glenn O’Brien, Franc Palaia, Lee Quiñones, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Luc Sante, Kenny Scharf, Robin Winters, and Bob Gruen.
Comments about the film:
A treasure. A transporting doc about the early career of Basquiat and the environment where he flourished. Conveys his personal magnetism, eccentricity and non-stop creativity without romanticizing him.
– John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
Vivid and beautifully meditative. It shows how one of the most emblematic American artists of the late 20th century found his voice in the rubble.
– Chris Barsanti, AV Club
Movingly remembers him -forever young- as unique figure who connected punk, hip hop, hardcore, DIY films, gallery, graffiti and street art, across genres, classes, and races.
– Nora Lee Mandel, FF2 Media
Driver does a great job of showing how Basquiat’s graffiti smears were more than just a subjective piece of art but also spoke candidly to social commentary on race, poverty, and oppression.
– Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds