Basquiat Before Basquiat, East 12th Street, 1979–1980

The art and archival material provides rare insight into the artistic life of Basquiat before he achieved fame in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment, Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, the exhibition documents the fluid evolution of Basquiat’s creative impulses into a more sustained practice.

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