The Show that never Was
Numerous publications and exhibitions have examined Jean-Michel Basquiat’s extensive oeuvre that consists of more than 3000 works, this catalogue though focuses on eight paintings only: In the summer of 1982, Basquiat traveled to Modena, Italy, for one of his first solo exhibitions in Europe at the gallery of Emilio Mazzoli. Within just a few days, he painted a group of large-format paintings that surpassed his previous work not only in terms of their scale. Each at least two by four meters in size, they mark the transition from graffiti spraying in the streets of Manhattan to painting on canvas. At the same time, they reflect an artist coming into his own. The paintings – including masterpieces that today are considered pivotal and among the most outstanding of his oeuvre – have never been shown together. This catalogue revisits this crucial moment of Basquiat’s career some 40 years ago and reunites them for the first time.