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Basquiat X Warhol Painting Four Hands, the Unmissable Exhibition of Summer 2023
The second part of Basquiat X Warhol Painting Four Hands opened at the Fondation Louis Vuitton on April 5, 2023. The first, in 2018, was a huge success, receiving approximately 700,000 visitors.
This second chapter spectacularly brings together over 70 co-signed artworks from the collaboration between 1983 and 1985 (many of them immense), and individual works by both artists. With loans from the Andy Warhol Museum, the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and private collectors including Bruno Bischofberger, this will be the most important exhibition ever of this extraordinary body of work.
The focus is extended with key works by artists such as Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Futura 2000, Lady Pink and Kenny Scharf, representative of the New York Downtown art scene of the 1980s.
It was Warhol‘s agent, Bischofberger, who first suggested that each artist should begin the paintings without conferring about format, iconography or medium. Enough space would be left by the first artist to accommodate the second.
Basquiat liked this and agreed.
The attraction of opposites – Basquiat, raw, spontaneous, highly critical of capitalism and at the apex of his career, Warhol, aloof, controlled, commercially-minded and at somewhat of a plateau in his career, brought out the best of each talent.
Warhol wrote in his diary, “I think those paintings we’re doing together are better when you can’t tell who did which parts.”
Said Basquiat, “He would start most of the paintings. He would put something very concrete or recognizable, like a newspaper headline or a product logo, and then I would sort of deface it, and then I would try to get him to work some more on it, and then I would work more on it. I would try to get him to do at least two things, you know? He likes to do just one hit and then have me do all the work after that.“ and “We used to paint over each other ‘s stuff all the time.”
When an exhibition of sixteen jointly created Basquiat – Warhol artworks at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in September 1985 were unanimously panned by critics, Vivian Rayner wrote in the New York Times that Basquiat “had a chance of becoming a very good painter provided he didn’t succumb to the forces that would make him an art world mascot.
Basquiat took offense at this criticism. His relationship with Warhol cooled. Although they remained friends, they would never collaborate again. He was devastated by Warhol’s death on February 22, 1987. The following year, Basquiat died of a drug overdose on August 12, aged 27.
The collaboration of these two artists is unique, one of the greatest and most enduring in art world history, beautifully curated in this seminal exhibition.
BASQUIAT X WARHOL, Painting Four Hands
5 April – 28 August 2023
Fondation Louis Vuitton 8 avenue Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne Paris