The post-graffiti moment in 1980s New York City took the popular street art form from city walls and subway trains onto canvas … exposing it to the grander art world. Jean-Michel Basquiat became an iconic front-runner of this transforming and insurgent movement in contemporary American art, resulting in a fusion of creative energies never seen before, while defying longstanding racial divisions.
Basquiat and his peers were seen as the visual artists of the Hip Hop generation, freely sampling and remixing multiple sources and reassembling them via the lens of their cosmopolitan experiences, much like their music counterparts and frequent collaborators.
A new exhibit coming to the Museum of Fine Art Boston (MFA Boston), Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation brings together 35 works by the artist, drawn from private and museum collections around the world, approximating 90 works by 11 of his contemporaries. Artists such as A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee, and Toxic.
Throughout a decade defined by Reaganomics and The Crack Epidemic, these artists took fine art in new directions, along with design and music … planting the seeds that would drive the now-global popularity of Hip Hop culture.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog produced by MFA Publications, edited by co-curators Liz Munsell, the MFA’s Lorraine and Alan Bressler … Curator of Contemporary Art, and writer and musician Greg Tate. Following its debut at the MFA (on view in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery from April 5 through August 2, 2020), the exhibition will travel to the Pérez Art Museum Miami in September 2020, where it will be on view during Art Basel Miami Beach.