quarta-feira, 25 de junho de 2008

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat teve uma mostra reunindo trabalhos em que as palavras são predominantes. Acima, a capa do catálogo, que tem um ensaio do curador Richard Marshall, e uma vista da exposição.

This excellent show concentrates on the cornerstones of Basquiat's art: language and a blocky, concise handwriting that amounts to a personal, almost digital typeface. The only images here are words, names, lists and phrases, often appropriated from odd places, like the index of a book on jazz or the title of a painting by Ter Borch. One nine-sheet work is simply a rewriting of the prolonged table of contents of "Moby-Dick," suggesting a kind of poem.

The exhibition presents paintings, drawings, and notebooks that feature only Basquiat's written words. The artist is well know for large, colorful works dense with gesture, collage, figures, symbols, and words; but this exhibition will be the first to exclusively feature Basquiat's unique and significant use of language. The exhibition will include works from the artist's entire career, dating from 1979 to 1988 (the year of his death).

For Jean-Michel Basquiat, the meaning of a word was not necessarily relevant to its usage because he employed words as abstract objects that can be seen as configurations of straight and curved lines that come together to form a visual pattern. Conversely, the artist also employed words and phrases that are loaded with meaning and reference, in particular those words related to racism, black history, and black musicians and athletes.

Basquiat's word paintings and drawings often appear to be a secret, coded language that the artist devised and left for the viewer to attempt to decipher. Basquiat acknowledged his manipulation of words, stating "I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them." However, Basquiat's casual, random manner is deceptive, because on closer inspection his choice of words often coalesce into intelligent, meaningful, and cohesive thoughts and subjects.

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