Basquiat. The Modena Paintings

jean-michel basquiat, © nahmad collection

Fondation Beyeler
Until August 27

The Fondation Beyeler presents “Basquiat. The Modena Paintings,” eight large-scale works that Jean-Michel Basquiat painted in 1982 in Modena, Italy, for an exhibition that in the end never took place. More than 40 years later and for the first time, Fondation Beyeler reunites the eight masterpieces, which are now held in private collections in the United States, Asia, and Switzerland and comprise Basquiat’s most celebrated and valuable works. The exhibition comes 13 years after Fondation Beyeler mounted a comprehensive retrospective devoted to the artist.

The Modena cycle stands at the beginning of Basquiat’s career. The paintings display Basquiat’s typically colourful and expressive pictorial idiom. They further share several motifs and stylistic features marking them out as a cohesive group within Basquiat’s oeuvre that is key to understanding his work. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to experience some of Basquiat’s most celebrated and valuable paintings within the full ensemble they were originally conceived as.