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Alexandra Bircken: A–Z

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Online workshop for adults | From A to Z: Opposites attract!

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One hour with … chief curator Patrizia Dander | Alexandra Bircken: A–Z

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Jean-Michel Basquiat

Ohne Titel

  • Translated titleUntitled
  • Year1983
  • Material3 parts; acrylic and oilstick on canvas
  • Dimensions243.8 x 62 cm
  • Year of acquisition2001
  • Inventory numberUAB 20
  • On viewGround floor

More about the artwork

At first glance, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings are reminiscent of graffiti. His pictorial language is restless and sketch-like. This triptych presents us with text fragments, layers of paint, crosshatchings, loosely-drawn forms, bodies, and especially skulls, whose depiction bears witness to Basquiat’s obsessive study of anatomy textbooks. The female body on the left panel was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon” (1907) — an icon of modern art which, in turn, drew upon African art forms. Figures such as Nero, Icarus, Miles Davis, and Marco Polo, whose names populate Basquiat’s paintings, also offer a glimpse into his artistic horizon, which ranges from European art and cultural history to African-American counterculture. Basquiat makes use of these disparate elements in his work, evoking jazz’s strategies of improvisation. He absorbs White cultural history, and thus confidently asserts his own place within it as an artist of color.

Further collection artworks

Werkabbildung: K.H. Hödicke, Karfunkelstein, 1973, Ausstellung 'German Pop' im Museum Brandhorst.
K.H. Hödicke Carbuncle Stone, 1973
Arthur Jafa, Monster (2018), UAB \
Arthur Jafa Monster, 1988/2019
Jeff Koons *1955, Amore, 1988, UAB258aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Jeff Koons Amore, 1988
Keith Haring, Untitled (Subway Drawing), 1983, UAB 1120aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Keith Haring Untitled (Subway Drawing), 1983
Cy Twombly, Untitled (Capri), 1960, UAB 442aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Untitled (Capri), 1960
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1964, UAB 506aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Self-Portait, 1964