Jean Michel-Basquiat, Untitled (1982). Courtesy of Sotheby’s New York.
Billionaire Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa has revealed that the Brooklyn Museum will be the first stop on a world tour of his blockbuster Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, which he bought for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s last spring. The work will be the subject of a show titled “One Basquiat,” which will run from January 26 to March 11.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s landmark painting Untitled was created in 1982, considered a breakout year in the artist’s meteoric career. It depicts a crowned, spectral head rendered with a painterly ferocity remarkable even amid the artist’s other vigorously expressive images. The exhibition One Basquiat is the first museum presentation of Untitled.
One Basquiat is the latest link between the artist and Brooklyn, from his birth at Brooklyn Hospital, to childhood visits to the Brooklyn Museum, where his mother enrolled him as a Junior Member when he was 6 years old, to our retrospective Basquiat (2005) and critically acclaimed presentation Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks (2015).
One Basquiat is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
The Basquiat show is the prelude to a series of forthcoming exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum that focus on a single work of art from its collection.
Maezawa, 42, is the founder of the Contemporary Art Foundation and Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. He quickly made a name for himself on the auction circuit during the 2016 spring season, when he spent $81 million on five works in a single night (including the $57 million Basquiat). According to Forbes, Maezawa has a net worth of $3.1 billion.
One Basquiat JANUARY 26–MARCH 11, 2018 Brooklyn Museum www.brooklynmuseum.org