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Jean-Michel Basquiat at Mudec, Milan

MUDEC, the Museum of Cultures of Milan, opens its doors to one of the protagonists of the American and world art scene of the Eighties, considered one of the best-known artists of our time: Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The exhibition is part of the cultural itinerary which establishes a link between the Museum’s ethnographic collections and so-called “primitive art” and the main art movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a genius of the century we just left behind: his life and his work succeed in transferring to us the deep contradiction of the years in which he lived and the extreme frailty of the human condition.
The exhibition, at the MUDEC until the 26th February 2017, is curated by Jeffrey Deitch, a friend of the artist, critic, curator and ex-director of the MOCA of Los Angeles, and by Gianni Mercurio, curator and essayist. Its itinerary has been devised with two interpretation keys: a geographical one linked to the places that have marked Basquiat’s artistic path and a chronological one. Visitors will be able to move through the life, the joys and the uncertainties of this young artist; a man full of talent, lost in his own frailty and in a society that applauded him as an artist, but that refused him because of the colour of his skin.
The exhibition presents about 140 works created between 1980 and 1987 and it brings together works of large dimensions, drawings, photos, collaborations with his friend Andy Warhol and a set of ceramic plates, on which Basquiat ironically portrayed personalities and artists from every age: works that are characterized by the use of poor materials and by a unique graphical sign, filled with anger, most of which come from the collection of Yosef Mugrabi, with the addition of works from other private lenders.
Some of the recurrent themes in Basquiat’s works such as music, jazz, comics, anatomy but also poetry and writing are the common thread that will lead visitors through social and racial differences, social marginalization and mistrust toward anyone different: elements that characterized society yesterday just as they do today.

The “Jean-Michel Basquiat” exhibition will also offer visitors the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the artist and of the period in which he lived through a series of events, concerts, projections, conferences.
In particular, as his art has been often compared to children’s drawings (for its style and freedom of expression), the little ones are invited to join the laboratory Graffiti. They will realize their own visual tale… dreams, fears, daily life or superheroes, giving life to a colorful collective work. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat
MUDEC, Museum of Cultures
Via Tortona, 56 – Milan
until 26th February 2017

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POSTED BY cts-klee
November 8, 2016