“Jean-Michel Basquiat”

Auctions to watch in November

The autumn auction season is well and truly in swing as buyers look out for new pieces for their collections. All over the world — namely New York and London —, auctions presenting works by internationally renowned artists will shortly be held. On 10 November, David Bowie’s collection will be going on sale at Sotheby’s, New York, featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power, estimated at being worth $2 to 4 million, to be presented at a session on modern and contemporary art. Following this sale, Francis Bacon and Sol LeWitt works will be placed on sale, still in New York, on 15 November at Swann Auction Galleries; two days later, it will be the turn of emblematic pieces by Willem de Kooning and Georges Baselitz, back at Sotheby’s. The last major sale in November will also be held by the latter, on 22 and 23 November — an opportunity to acquire works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, at a sale on Latin American modern...

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Global contemporary-art auction sales drop by one quarter, says Artprice

Since 2000, the spectacular growth of auction sales for contemporary art (1,370 %) “has undergone a healthy adjustment period, as necessary as it is foreseeable,” Artprice CEO Thierry Ehrmann commented to AFP. Since 2000, the average yearly yield has been 4.9 % since 2000, and 9 % for works with purchase prices upward of $20,000. But between July 2015 and July 2016, the turnover for contemporary-art auction sales dropped to $1.5 billion, according to the latest Artprice report. The strong decline in sales is due to new uneasiness from China (- 47 %), showing a preference for modern art over contemporary. Five stars remain nonetheless: Jean-Michel Basquiat (sales of $139.4 million over the period), Christopher Wool ($84 million), Jeff Koons ($58.5 million), Richard Prince ($55.8 million) and Peter Doig ($44.6 million). Contemporary art represents 12 % of global art-auction results, dominated by sales in the United States (38 % of contemporary-art sales), then the United Kingdom (26 %) and China (24 %). France is far behind, with sales estimated at $41.4...

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Basquiat retrospective at the Barbican Art Gallery

In London, the Barbican Art Gallery has been presenting, since 21 September, the first great British retrospective to be held in the last twenty years on Jean-Michel Basquiat. “Basquiat: Boom for Real” is showing more than 100 works, most of which have never been seen in Britain, accompanied by sketchbooks, films, photographs and a musical selection. The exhibition showcases a set of works produced by Basquiat for the group presentation “New York / New Wave” at the PS1 in February...

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Jean-Michel Basquiat Nudes deemed too “prurient” for public eyes

The Basquiat Estate has requested the removal of some of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “dick pics” taken by the artist’s ex-girlfriend Paige Powell in their Upper West-side apartment in the 1980s from the website Ratter (formerly Animal New York). On Monday 28 September 2015, Basquiat Estate attorney James P. Clinque emailed the online publication of Animal New York requesting that the graphic images published in 2014 of the artist lying naked on a mattress be removed from the internet, complaining that “they disparage Mr. Basquiat and are prurient in nature.” However, rather than comply, the website instead published a screenshot of the email. The website initially got access to the photos from an exhibition which took place at Suzanne Geiss Company, New York in 2014 entitled “Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude”. Powell commented that Basquiat “would love these photos”, but it is perhaps the title “dick pics” given by the online publication that caused offence to the artist’s estate. However, Bucky Turco, former owner of Animal New York, has objected that “The request to remove the photos is absurd. He has no legal standing.” “Also,” he added, “anyone who uses the word ‘prurient,’ should never be taken...

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“Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” at Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum in New York is to host the exhibition “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” from 3 April until 23 August 2015. Eight unpublished notebooks, created by Basquiat between 1980 and 1987, will be presented to the public for the first time during the exhibition. In addition to 160 unbound notebook pages, the exhibition comprises 30 related paintings, drawings, and mixed-media works drawn from private collections. These notebooks contain poetic fragments, plays on words, sketches, and personal observations. They highlight street life and popular culture through the themes of ethnic groups, social classes and the history of humankind. While the total number of notebooks created by Basquiat remains unknown, the examples presented in this exhibition reflect the originality of his thinking and the diversity of the subjects that he could have addressed. Born in Brooklyn in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat has always considered language as a leading medium. He began his street writings in the 1970s, the words forming an integral part of not only his notebooks but also his large-scale figurative paintings, for which he is best...

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