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Events in Art and Archaeology

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES  •  High Museum of Art  •  28 February - 29 May 2016

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960–1988) was one of the most original and influential artists of his generation. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he rose quickly from teenage street artist to art-world celebrity in the early 1980s. Though he is best known for his vibrantly colored figure paintings, language was in many ways his most constant medium. Handwritten texts appear throughout his drawings, paintings, and mixed-media works, blurring the boundaries between writing and drawing and between drawing and painting.

Throughout the 1980s, Basquiat kept notebooks in which he sketched and recorded observations of life in New York City and of the broader culture. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks presents for the first time eight notebooks that Basquiat produced between 1980 and around 1987, along with a selection of related drawings, paintings, and collages. The notebooks reveal a lesser-known side of Basquiat and his artistic process and constitute an important source for understanding and appreciating his larger compositions.

Filled with descriptive texts, poems, notations, and occasional drawings, the notebooks on view here contain early versions of images that recur throughout the artist’s production: tepees, crowns, street signs, urban traffic, and skeletal, masklike faces of African Americans. A keen observer of history and the world around him, Basquiat communicated critiques of racism, capitalism, and social and economic injustice with deceptively childlike imagery and a sophisticated poetic voice. Throughout his notebooks, as in his larger works, he experimented with text as a visual element, carefully positioning words or short phrases on an otherwise empty page and consciously misspelling and repeating words and phrases for emphasis and poetic effect.

High Museum of Art Website

Contact: High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Tel: (1) 404 733 51 21

Vik Muniz: <EM>Medusa Marinara,</EM> from the After Warhol series, 1997Dye destruction printCourtesy of the artistArt © Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Vik Muniz: Medusa Marinara, from the After Warhol series, 1997
Dye destruction print
Courtesy of the artist
Art © Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Vik Muniz
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES  •  The High Museum of Art  •  28 February - 21 August 2016

Co-organized by the High and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Vik Muniz examines the artist’s career and features more than 120 photographs, including many of Muniz’s most recent works. The exhibition will travel internationally following its presentation at the High.

Muniz (born 1961, São Paulo, Brazil) is renowned for creating what he calls “photographic delusions,” Muniz works with a dizzying array of unconventional materials—including sugar, tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust and junk—to painstakingly design narrative subjects before recording them with his camera. His resulting photographs often quote iconic images from popular culture and the history of art while defying easy classification and playfully engaging a viewer’s process of perception. His more recent work utilizes electron microscopes and manipulates microorganisms to unveil both the familiar and the strange in spaces that are typically inaccessible to the human eye.

Other featured recent work includes prints from Muniz’s “Colonies” series, for which the artist collaborated with MIT scientists to employ microorganisms, including bacteria and even cancer cells, to multiply in choreographed designs. In these photographs, Muniz morphs the frightening into the beautiful, producing striking, intricate patterns from materials with largely negative connotations. The “Colonies” photographs also follow Muniz’s affinity for bringing attention to social issues though his work—in this case, the importance of medical research and vaccination.

High Museum of Art Website


High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

Tel: (1) 404 733 51 21

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