Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Rare Xerox Artworks Are on Display in Free NYC Exhibition

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Following The Brant Foundation‘s showcase of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s most significant works currently on display, New York City-based art gallery Nahmad Contemporary, is also offering a free Basquiat exhibition aptly dubbed, Jean-Michel Basquiat / Xerox, which focuses on the legendary artist’s masterful work made with xerox photocopies.

Just like the Brant Foundation, this retrospective was curated by Basquiat scholar Dieter Buchhart.Jean-Michel Basquiat / Xerox displays how the Brooklyn-born artist integrated the Xerox machine into his creative process and it’s noted as his first attempts into transitioning from street art and graffiti to contemporary art.

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'Jean-Michel Basquiat: Xerox' opens tonight from 6-8 pm at Nahmad Contemporary. . The immersive, collaged Xerox paintings featured here epitomize Basquiat’s extraordinary capacity for visual language. Their raw, allover compositions incorporate recycled and transformed signs and markings from the artist’s everyday experiences—including motifs from his earlier artworks. From anatomical drawings inspired by a childhood accident to triumphant commemorations of his heroes, the imagery culled from his intimate and vast lexicon rendered the foundation of these complex compositions. And, like an assimilation of collective knowledge, the content deluge in this series presages the copy-paste sampling characteristic of the subsequent Internet and post-Internet generations. . #basquiat #xerox #basquiatxerox

A post shared by Nahmad Contemporary (@nahmadcontemporary) on Mar 12, 2019 at 1:34pm PDT

The series of works showcased starts from 1979, when the artist first utilized the machine with artist/filmmaker Jennifer Stein. The two created a series of small, colorful collages that incorporated paint splatters and scrawled text, in addition to candy labels and newspaper clippings which they photocopied, mounted and sold as art postcards on the streets of New York that same year.

“It wasn’t until 1983, however, when collage became a defining element of his practice, that Basquiat began to extensively use the photocopier as a tool to create paintings,” Nahmad Contemporary explained. “The process of photocopying became so integral to his practice that he eventually invested in his own color Xerox machine for his studio.”

As evidenced on the more than 20 historic works displayed, which have rarely been exhibited publicly, Basquiat utilized photocopies to add density to his works, covering his pieces with small drawings, phrases, names and more.

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'Jean-Michel Basquiat: Xerox' opening at Nahmad Contemporary tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12 from 6-8pm!

A post shared by Nahmad Contemporary (@nahmadcontemporary) on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:38pm PDT

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Xerox is now open to the public for free, until May 31, 2019. Head on over to the Nahmad Contemporary’s website now for additional details.


Nahmad Contemporary
980 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10075

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