Following The Brant Foundation‘s showcase of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s most significant works currently on display, New York City-based art gallery Nahmad Contemporary, is also offering a free Basquiat exhibition aptly dubbed, Jean-Michel Basquiat / Xerox, which focuses on the legendary artist’s masterful work made with xerox photocopies.

Just like the Brant Foundation, this retrospective was curated by Basquiat scholar Dieter Buchhart.Jean-Michel Basquiat / Xerox displays how the Brooklyn-born artist integrated the Xerox machine into his creative process and it’s noted as his first attempts into transitioning from street art and graffiti to contemporary art.

The series of works showcased starts from 1979, when the artist first utilized the machine with artist/filmmaker Jennifer Stein. The two created a series of small, colorful collages that incorporated paint splatters and scrawled text, in addition to candy labels and newspaper clippings which they photocopied, mounted and sold as art postcards on the streets of New York that same year.

“It wasn’t until 1983, however, when collage became a defining element of his practice, that Basquiat began to extensively use the photocopier as a tool to create paintings,” Nahmad Contemporary explained. “The process of photocopying became so integral to his practice that he eventually invested in his own color Xerox machine for his studio.”

As evidenced on the more than 20 historic works displayed, which have rarely been exhibited publicly, Basquiat utilized photocopies to add density to his works, covering his pieces with small drawings, phrases, names and more.

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Xerox is now open to the public for free, until May 31, 2019. Head on over to the Nahmad Contemporary’s website now for additional details.

Nahmad Contemporary
980 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10075

Words by Renz Ofiaza
Staff Writer

scribbling by day, architect by night

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