Louis Vuitton Foundation – Jean-Michael Basquiat

Just around the corner – Autumn in Paris is enchanting, one of the most beautiful seasons to visit. An additional reason to visit, Louis Vuitton Foundation presents Jean-Michael Basquiat.
Upcoming Exhibition – From October 3, 2018 to January 14, 2019.

I was in Paris for the blockbuster “Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection” at the Vuitton Museum, it was perfectly orchestrated, so I expect the same for this important exhibition.

The work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most important painters of the twentieth century, unfolds in four levels of the building of Frank Gehry.

From the website: “The exhibition covers, from 1980 to 1988, the entire career of the painter focusing on more than 120 decisive works. Like the Heads of 1981-1982, for the first time gathered here, or the presentation of several collaborations between Basquiat and Warhol , the exhibition includes previously unseen ensembles in Europe, essential works such as Obnoxious Liberals (1982) , In Italian (1983) or Riding with Death (1988), and paintings rarely seen since their first presentations during the artist’s lifetime, such as Offensive Orange (1982), Untitled (Boxer) (1982), and Untitled (Yellow Tar and Feathers) (1982)© Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Licensed by Artestar, New York © Louis Vuitton Foundation / Marc Domage

Right out of childhood, Jean-Michel Basquiat leave school and make New York street his first workshop. Soon, his painting will be a success both wanted and suffered. The exhibition affirms its dimension as a major artist having radically renewed the practice of drawing and the concept of art. His copy-and-paste practice paved the way for the fusion of the most diverse disciplines and ideas. He created new spaces for reflection and anticipated, in doing so, our Internet and post-Internet society and our current forms of communication and thought. The sharpness of his eyes, his attendance at museums, reading many books gave him a real culture. But his gaze is oriented: the absence of black artists appears with painful evidence; the artist then imposes himself to make exist, with parity.

The death of Basquiat in 1988 interrupts a very prolific work, done in just a decade, with more than a thousand paintings and more drawings. The exhibition unfolds on nearly 2500m2. It is organized chronologically, but also by sets of works defining themes and dictating reconciliations. For Dieter Buchhart, “The exhibition follows its creation, from its first drawings and monumental works to screen prints, collages and later assemblages, highlighting its inimitable touch, its use of words, phrases and enumerations and its recourse to concrete hip hop poetry. To the existence of the African-American man threatened by racism, exclusion, oppression and capitalism, he opposes his warriors and heroes. ”

We can, of course offer VIP Private Visit- however, these limited options will reserve quickly!
The proposed route is chronological

Ground floor (gallery 2)
The exhibition opens with the exceptional set of three large Heads dating from 1981-1983. Follows, around the theme of the street – conceived as a workshop, source of inspiration, living body – the presentation of a set of works, mostly from 1981-1982, which echo in their compositions the energy, the intensity of the urban environment and its language. Let’s mention here Crowns (Peso Neto) . This first moment of the exhibition ends with the great characters painted by the artist, the “prophets” and the striking portrait of a black policeman (Irony of Negro Policeman) .

Ground Floor (Gallery 4)
This second stage of the exhibition is marked by a set of thirty head designs made mostly in 1982 by the artist. This hanging works as a huge composition of faces occupying the entire field of view of the viewer; he emphasizes the importance of drawing in Basquiat.
Further on, the graphic energy of the dozen works presented on the same floor expresses all the rage, the contestation, the revolt of Basquiat. It is symbolized by great African-American figures – boxers or fighters – who are also his personal heroes: Untitled (Sugar Ray Robinson) (1982), St. Louis Joe Surrounded by Snakes (1982), Cassius Clay (1982) … The introduction of letters, numbers, signs and texts in the background shows the complexity of the compositions, as in Santo # 1 (1982), Self-Portrait with Suzanne (1982), Untitled (1982), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict (1982).

Level 1 (Gallery 5)
“Heroes and Warriors” open this sequence. A front figure of black boxer, Untiled (Boxer) (1982), iconic masterpiece, makes the link with the previous section. The heroic characters are adorned with halos, crowns, or crowns of thorns … The emancipating figure of Samson appears in Obnoxious Liberals (1982). The journey continues with paintings linking a long history and archetypes with the direct environment of the artist, in compositions fed with stories and fragmentary writings, such as Price of Gasoline in the Third World(1982) or Slave Auction (1982), which deals directly with the slave trade. Another key board, In Italian (1983) testifies to the colorist talent of Basquiat.
The last time of the gallery 5 is organized around the music and especially the figure of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, one of Basquiat’s heroes. Five works return to a legendary figure he considers an alter ego: CPRKR (1982), Horn Players (1983), Charles the First (1982), Discography (One) (1983), Now’s the Time (1985).

Level 1 (gallery 6)
The room brings together six canvases in which writing plays a central role, including Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown) (1983) and Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars (1983) representing the painter surrounded by friends.

Level 1 (gallery 7)
At a distance, the space of the gallery 7 makes it possible to group together a series of four works – Lye (1983), Flash in Naples (1983), Napoleonic Stereotype (1983) – composed from a similar motif: a grid on which come to pose the figures, borrowed from the history, the history of the art or the immediate context of the artist.

Level 2 (gallery 9)
Two major ensembles are proposed in this room.
The first group around the monumental Grillo , 1984, a related group, including Gold Griot . There are references to an African culture reinterpreted and conveyed by the diaspora, where the black figure prevails, omnipresent.
The second set is devoted to the relationship between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol . Portrait made in 1982 by Basquiat, Dos Cabezas,1982, inaugurates this mutual fascination and introduces a set of works made with four hands from 1984. Warhol and Basquiat collaborate freely mixing drawing and screen printing. Mind energy (1984), OP-OP (1984) and Eiffel Tower (1985) are included here.

Level 2 (galleries 10 and 11)
The last rooms are organized into two sections, one centered on large formats from 1985-1987, mixing acrylic, pastel bold and collages. Graphic processes that seem to be borrowed from the musical techniques of sampling create a dense surface, exploded compositions, suggesting a multiplicity of readings. The other section, titled Unbreakable (Unbreakable), takes the title of a 1987 work, brings together some of the artist’s latest productions, including the impressive Riding with Death (1988). The painting bears witness to the artist’s complex pictorial heritage, which combines references to Renaissance art, icon painting and the most radical currents of the twentieth century. feeling of disarticulation in a furious and desperate race to nothingness.”

The Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the Brant Foundation.

Delos, Δήλος near Mykonos

The Aegean is seldom a bare expanse of sea. Islands float on the horizon faint and distant as outlines begin to take shape on closer inspection.

Just a short boat Journey from the island of Mykonos, you will arrive at the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological site, the island of Delos. A small rocky island in the center of the Aegean Sea. According to the legend, it was here that Apollo-Sun, god of daylight, and his twin sister Artemis-Moon, goddess of night light, were born. The island was first settled in the third millennium BC.

Terrace of the Lions built around 600 BCE by the people of Naxos. Facing east toward the sacred Lake of Delos where Greek scholars believe Apollo was born.

Apollo’s sanctuary attracted pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos was a prosperous trading port. The island bears traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the palaeochristian era.

The archaeological site is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port. The excavations in the island are among the most extensive in the Mediterranean; ongoing work takes place under the direction of the French School at Athens, and many of the artifacts found are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Delos and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. In 1990, UNESCO inscribed Delos on the World Heritage List, citing it as the “exceptionally extensive and rich” archaeological site which” conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.

The monuments that have been excavated are a powerful statement for the magnificence of the revered island and illuminate a past civilization. The entire island is an archaeological site, which, along with the neighboring islands of Rheneia, Greater and Lesser Rematiaris, constitutes an immense archaeological site.

Mosaics and cistern, Delos

Delos Cistern with rope markings

The island had no productive capacity for food, fiber, or timber, with all necessary items imported. Limited water was exploited with an extensive cistern and aqueduct system, wells, and sanitary drains. Various regions operated agoras (markets). Delos was preserved through the centuries due to the fact that it remained uninhabited since the 7th century AD due to its remote location. Nowadays, the entire island is designated as an archaeological site.

It includes the remnants of the Terrace of the Lions, also dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos shortly before 600 BCE. It originally had nine to twelve squatting, snarling marble guardian lions along the Sacred Way; one is inserted over the main gate to the Venetian Arsenal. The lions create a monumental avenue comparable to Egyptian avenues of sphinxes. There is a Greek sphinx in the Delos Museum. Today only seven of the original lions remain.

Terrace of the Lions built around 600 BCE by the people of Naxos. Facing east toward the sacred Lake of Delos where Greek scholars believe Apollo was born. The originals are in the small museum on Delos.

Ferries cross the Aegean to Delos multiple times a day from Mykonos Harbor- I recommend a late afternoon ferry to avoid midday heat and then a sunset return. We have guides and options for private boats to the enchanting Delos.