Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980

MCA Denver

February 11 - May 14, 2017

  • Curated by Nora Burnett Abrams
  • Also on display:
  • Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence
  • Ryan McGinley: The Kids Were Alright (through August 20th)

MCA Denver is pleased to announce Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980. The exhibition includes the entire cache of works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat during the year he lived with his friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in the East Village. This archival material provides rare insight into the artistic life of Basquiat before he was recognized as a prominent painter in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment, Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, this exhibition explores how the context of life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
1485 Delgany
Denver, CO 80202


Monthly Newsletter on Facebook