Exhibit Boasts Basquiat Baubles
New York -- Christie’s has announced a blockbuster month-long curated exhibition featuring a grouping of approximately 50 works coming from the Lower East Side apartment, where Jean-Michel Basquiat lived with female muse, Alexis Adler, from 1979 to 1980.
Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are eager to view these never-before-seen artworks come to market
The three major works, a glyph-like work on plaster that reads Olive Oyl, a door titled within as Famous Negro Athletes and Milk painted on a radiator will highlight the First-Open sale of Post-War and Contemporary on March 6th.
A selection of 41 works and items will be sold through a dedicated Online-Only sale to be held March 3-17, 2014.
To be comprehensive, the exhibition will also present works and archive photographs on loan from Alexis Adler’s collection.
Before Jean-Michel became Basquiat -- and could afford studios and canvases -- he painted all over his apartments — on walls, doors, refrigerators, clothes and any other bare surface he could find.
In 1979, the artist began transforming the East Village apartment he was sharing with Alexis Adler, just such a living installation.
The show will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, featuring never before published images of the artist and several unique photographs of Basquiat taken by Alexis Adler.
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Alexis Adler cohabitated from 1979 to 1980, when Basquiat was nineteen, and creating punk-influenced photocopied collages and painted clothing for sale on the street.
Alexis Adler’s collection includes never before exhibited items including paintings, drawings and postcards as well as painted clothing kept private since the 80’s when the artist and Alexis shared the Lower East Side apartment.
Adler has just graduated from college when they met. She became part of the downtown scene along with Basquiat, Michael Holman, Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson – young friends with an alternative style who became regulars at the Mudd Club and other downtown fixtures.
When they first started going together neither Basquiat or Adler had a home, and they sometimes stayed together with some friends. In 1979, they both moved in an apartment on East 12th Street near Avenue B. It was his first permanent address after leaving his father's home in Brooklyn.
He had a room in the back of the railroad apartment filled with papers where he made his drawings and poetic phrases.
Adler had studied art history at Barnard, and majored in Biology in college; she is today a successful embryologist in New York. Basquiat was fascinated by her Biology textbooks, and copied many of the Biology and Chemistry symbols into his drawing.
The collection also includes writings and early drawings, as well as his postcards and painted clothes. In these early years, Basquiat painted on walls and objects in other apartments he stayed at, or left drawings on paper as gifts. But many of those were thrown away and painted over, and other objects sold when prices for his work first started rising.
"Alexis’s collection is the pure pro-bono production of an artist on fire with ideas. Already in 1979 he was developing his own vocabulary of words, characters (Popeye and Olive Oyl), and signs. He’s trying things out," commented Glenn O’Brien, writer and friend of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the text written for the Christie’s exhibition catalogue.
Exhibition: Rockefeller Center, 20th Floor on 1230 Avenue of the Americas, March 1 - 28, 2014