The collaborative works of two stellar artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, have arrived at The School – Jack Shainman’s 2,800sq m elementary school-turned-gallery space in upstate New York. The Basquiat x Warhol exhibition, which will remain open until Saturday September 7, explores the duo’s paintings, executed between 1984 and 1985, when they shared a studio space.
The pair co-produced several striking and provocative works on canvas during this period, including Thin Lips (1984-1985), Untitled (Two Dogs) (1984) and Untitled (1984-1985), which fuse signature Warhol pop-art elements with Basquiat’s raw, gestural brushstrokes and street-style roots. Harshly criticised at the time, the pieces on view serve to highlight the visual language conceived by the pair through their use of bold acrylics, oil, silkscreen and oil stick, and reveal much about their tumultuous relationship.
The exhibition also showcases individual creations by the artists, such as Walking Torso (1977) and Self-Portrait in Fright Wig from 1986, both by Warhol, and Untitled (Football Helmet) (1981-1984) – a sculpture by Basquiat that is decorated with the artist’s hair. Iconic artworks on display are sure to be crowd-pleasers, from Warhol’s silkscreen Four Jackies (1964) to the playful Campbell’s Soup Box (1986) and The Last Supper (Camel/57) (1986), which sit in harmony throughout the airy classroom spaces with Basquiat’s large-scale paintings and lesser-known anatomy prints. Among the collection are pieces for sale, with prices starting from $8,500.
“It is an honour to show these works 30 years after their inception, particularly the collaborative paintings and Warhol’s Polaroids – many rarely seen before under the same roof – that lend nuance and meaning to the relationship between two of the most significant artists of our generation,” says Shainman. “Although there was a great deal of pushback against the art and criticism of the artists’ relationship through this collaboration, it is a pleasure to view their exchange with contemporary eyes.”