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.

Paris Art – Oh My! Blockbuster Extended

UPDATE – Due to the incredible success of the exhibition “Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection”, which has already welcomed 600,000 visitors, the Fondation is pleased to announce the extension of the exhibition through 5 March 2017.

Long before I departed to Paris, I had read about the extraordinary exhibit at the Fondation Louis Vuitton…I’ve been known to visit New York just for an art exhibit, but Paris is a jaunt for art’s sake. In this case, I would highly recommend considering a visit to Paris for the riveting and impressive exhibit from Russian collector Sergi Shchukin.

The blockbuster exhibit “Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection” recently opened in the esteemed Frank Gehry designed Fondation Louis Vuitton…a double treat, an astonishing collection in a truly astonishing building.

The collection of 127 works of French masters – van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso and additional artists is a massive assembly of work that originally belonged to a Russian textile tycoon – Sergi Shchukin.img_6672

Shchukin collected mostly French Impressionist and Post Impressionist art, amassing his visionary collection in a brief 15-year period. His palatial palace in Moscow housed the paintings. During the Lenin days and the revolution, Shchukin fled to Paris in exile and his collection was dispersed.

There are several astonishing points in regard to this exhibition – one, the massive collection of Picasso’s, Gauguin’s, Monet’s and Cezanne’s is almost overwhelming – so many masterpieces assembled in one location and imagining the political feat of orchestrating the exhibit. The collection has resided in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Pushkin in Moscow. Travel bans were partly fueled by Shchukin heirs requesting for restitution of the paintings. Bernard Arnault, president of the Fondation Louis Vuitton was determined and personally funded the insurance and all expenses in bringing this treasure trove to Paris. Merci, Monsieur Arnault.

Portrait of Shchukin

Portrait of Shchukin

With our hotel team at La Reserve, we can offer skip the line passes – otherwise, purchase online and expect to stand outside for at least 15 minutes while patrons pass through security. The Museum itself is an entirely other art story if you haven’t visited the iconic building. Do include exploring the outdoor spaces as part of this visit.

I’ve never been so impressed with such a collection of art – the eleven Gauguin’s, alone are worth the visit! Clustered together as they were once exhibited in the Trubetskoy Palace, represent what was then thought of as risqué – the nudes and provocative poses were in questionable taste.

Matisse is represented in twenty-two works, the collector found Matisse during a difficult financial period, stood by him and seemed to have funded much of his major work.

Really, if you love art, escape to Paris!  This exhibit runs until February 20, 2017 and will leave you awestruck! We will help you with the Art of a Visit!

Henri Matisse - Nude. Black and Gold

Henri Matisse – Nude. Black and Gold

Matisse - The Goldfish

Henri Matisse – The Goldfish

Henri Matisse - Spanish Woman with Tambourine

Henri Matisse – Spanish Woman with Tambourine

Pablo Picasso - House in a Garden

Pablo Picasso – House in a Garden


Paul Gauguin – Do Not Work. Tahitians in a Room

Claude Monet - Luncheon on the Grass

Claude Monet – Luncheon on the Grass

Paul Gauguin - What, Are You Jealous?

Paul Gauguin – What, Are You Jealous?

Morning Shchukin! From Monday 27 February to Sunday 5 March 2017
Morning Shchukin! Early birds, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. recharge your batteries while visiting the exhibition.