Home Arts Eight unpublished works by Jean-Michel Basquiat brought together in Basel

Eight unpublished works by Jean-Michel Basquiat brought together in Basel

by godlove4241
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The Fondation Beyeler in Basel is revisiting the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat this summer by presenting Basquiat: the paintings of Modena (June 11-August 27) which brings together eight large-scale works produced in Modena, Italy, in 1982. The paintings, including gold teeth guiltare now housed in eight separate private collections in the United States, Asia and Switzerland.

The Italian gallery owner Emilio Mazzoli invited Basquiat to produce the works for a unique exhibition, providing work premises and painting equipment. The graffiti artist painted on abandoned canvases used by another artist, Mario Schifano, scribbling “Modena” on the back. But complications over paying for the works led to the cancellation of the planned exhibition in Europe.

In a 1985 interview with the New York Times, Basquiat underlined how much he disliked the Modena experience. “They set it up for me so I had to do eight paintings in a week.” During this time, working in the warehouse premises made available to him seemed to him “like a factory, a sick factory. I hated it.” The works found new buyers through Basquiat’s New York dealer at the time, Annina Nosei.

The “Modena Paintings” share several motifs and stylistic characteristics according to a statement by the Fondation Beyeler, including “a monumental figure, often black, against a background of broad, gestural and expressive brushstrokes…the human and animal bodies occupy the front of the stage”.

Sam Keller, director of the Fondation Beyeler, tells The arts journal“With each new generation, the importance of Basquiat’s work increases further. Its combination of images and words referencing high and popular culture, history, science, social and economic injustice was truly ahead of its time and more relevant today than ever. The Modena paintings were created over 40 years ago and have never been shown together before. It’s going to be exciting to finally bring them together. The average insurance value of each of these works is $100 million, with the group of eight works totaling $800 million.

The market boom for Jean-Michel Basquiat continues with major works by the late American street artist dominant selling season in New York next month. View of the Moon (1984) from the collection of the late music magnate Mo Ostin goes on sale at Sotheby’s on May 16 (estimate $7-10 million) while Christie’s is offering El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile) (1983) from Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani’s collection on May 15 with an estimate of approximately $45 million.

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