An exhibition of rare and never-before-seen artworks and artifacts from renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is opening in New York City on April 9, 2022.
“Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure” will feature over 200 paintings, drawings and multimedia presentations, curated by the Basquiat family — including his sisters Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, who run the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and their stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick — with architect Sir David Adjaye OBE serving as the exhibition’s designer.
“We wanted to bring his work and personality forward, in a way only his family can, for people to immerse themselves in,” Lisane said in a statement. “We want this to be a multi-dimensional celebration of Jean-Michel’s life.”
Opening at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea, “King Pleasure” will be made up of seven parts: an introduction to the renowned artist; a display centering Basquiat’s childhood in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico; a section about his rise in the art world; a recreation of his Great Jones Street studio; a gallery of approximately 100 paintings and drawings; a recreation of the New York City nightclub Palladium’s VIP area with two paintings Basquiat produced for the club in 1985; and a second gallery of oral histories from Basquiat’s family and friends.
The exhibition’s title comes from a 1987 painting by Basquiat, named after the jazz vocalist King Pleasure, whose hit “Moody’s Mood for Love” was beloved by the artist’s father, Gerard Basquiat. Gerard led the Estate until his passing in 2013.
Initially imagined in 2017 around the 30th anniversary of Basquiat’s death, the Estate said in a statement that “King Pleasure” was years in the making. During the mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns, the Basquiat family decided to finally present the exhibition about the icon.
“There’s been many exhibitions of Jean-Michel’s work, but never told from the perspective of the family — Jean-Michel as a child, a man, a son, and a brother,” said Jeanine.
Those interested can sign up on the “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure” website to be notified when tickets are released.
Top Image: Left: Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982 © 1983 Van Der Zee. Right: Portion of Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Jailbirds," 1983 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.