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Contemporary Art

A Basquiat Masterpiece Comes Home to Brooklyn

In 1964, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s mother, Mathilde, began taking her artistically inclined five-year-old son to the Brooklyn Museum. Years later, Basquiat recalled the museum in his home borough as his favourite over MoMA and the Metropolitan in Manhattan. It’s fitting, then, that Untitled, 1982, one of the artist’s greatest paintings from the height of his tragically short career is getting the star treatment at the Brooklyn Museum in a special exhibition on view through 11 March.

Basquiat's Untitled on exhibit in Brooklyn museum only until March 11! Then it's off to the permanent home in Japan. #onebasquiat # yusakumaezawa #basquiat #brooklynmuseum #art #painting #brooklynny #basquiatart #jeanmichelbasquiat #110milliondollars A post shared by Eugenia Z (@e_zhurbin) on Feb 10, 2018 at 1:23pm PST

The loan of Untitled is sponsored by Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese collector who successfully bid on the painting in a historic $110 million sale at Sotheby’s New York last May. 

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JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, UNTITLED , 1982. LOT SOLD FOR $110,487,500. CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING AUCTION , 18 MAY 2017.

From that moment, he has expressed a desire to share it with the world. “I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece,” he wrote of Untitled on Instagram that night. “When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible.”

The Battle for Basquiat

In the coming months, Untitled will continue its tour, appearing next at a soon-to-be announced US museum. The work will ultimately reside in a museum that Maezawa is building in Chiba, Japan.

 

One Basquiat, on view at the Brooklyn Museum through 11 March. To learn more about Yusaku Maezawa, read our feature story here.

 

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