B orn in Paris in 1953, Enrico Navarra was raised by his father, a tailor. Navarra was first exposed to the art world as a lithograph salesman, where he met Ida Chagall, the daughter of Marc Chagall. The two quickly became friends, and Chagall eventually convinced Navarra to institute his own gallery. The gallery opened its doors in 1989.
“From the outset of my association with Enrico...I was singularly impressed by his keen insight into American culture, especially those artists focused on art as a reflection of the urban milieu.”
In his gallery, Navarra mounted the art of Ida’s father – and eventually toured the world with the works, introducing the artist to countries across Asia.
A visionary with unparalleled instinct, Navarra believed in and championed artists well before they came to fame. In 1986, Navarra purchased his first work by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The Incredible Visual Language of Jean-Michel Basquiat
He was instrumental in nurturing Basquiat’s market, including authoring the most comprehensive compendium of the artist’s work in 1996, and organizing and promoting the artist’s exhibitions worldwide – laying the groundwork for his meteoric rise. Navarra was also one of the first western collectors to acquire and promote contemporary Asian art.
“As a champion of emerging artists around the world, Enrico Navarra was responsible for inspiring a global appreciation for many renowned artists – most especially Jean-Michel Basquiat. Through his exhibitions, scholarship and beyond, Navarra had a profound role in developing the international market for Basquiat’s work that we see today. We are honored to offer two works from his estate this month.”
He published a series of “made by” books, including “Made by Chinese” (1996), “Made by Brazilians” (2014), “Made by Thai (2019) and more.