140 works at Mudec, the Museo delle Culture in Milan, till February 26th, 2017

by Paola Perfetti

The sound of footsteps in SoHo or in the Lower East Side. New York City. The noise of traffic jams. The flashes of a TV set switched on cartoons, in the loft where Jean-Michel Basquiat used to work. Colourful canvasses, with cows skulls and bones. The dishes with names of the biggest authors in History of Art painted on. He was drawing following the stream of a jazz song.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) is back in Milan, at Mudec, the Museum of Cultures, in an extensive exhibition with about 140 works painted between 1980 and 1987.

The exhibition is divided in five sections: The studio on the street, 1980-81; Modena, 1981 (when Basquiat’s first solo-exhibition was organized in Italy, in May 1981 by the art dealer Emilio Mazzoli. Basquiat wasn’t presented under his own name, but with the acronym SAMO); The studio in Prince Street, 1981-82 (many of his most iconic works were painted in the basement below Annina Nosei’s gallery in Prince Street, in SoHo); The studio in Crosby Street, 1982-83; The studio in Great Jones Street, 1984-88 ( when he collaborated with his friend Andy Warhol), Collaboration Paintings, 1984-85, when Basquiat’s gallerist Bruno Bischofberger proposed Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Andy Warhol to do a series of paintings in collaboration.
Above all, the visitor can find the current themes in Basquiat’s works, such as music, jazz, comics, anatomy, poetry, social and racial differences, marginalization and mistrust.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, at MUDEC from October 28th, 2016 to February 26th, 2017 is curated by Jeffrey Deitch, a friend of the artist, a critic, a curator and ex-director of the MOCA of Los Angeles, by Gianni Mercurio, a curator and essayist, and promoted by the Municipality of Milan-Culture and by 24 ORE Cultura.