REVEAL | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Royalty, Heroism, and the Streets
Jul 7 – Sep 10, 2020
G/F, 2 Ice House Street, Central
Lévy Gorvy inaugurated its new global initiative REVEAL, an ongoing series of single-work focus exhibitions devoted to postwar and contemporary masterpieces, accompanied by in-depth contextual materials and educational programming both in its spaces and online. The first REVEAL exhibition opened at Lévy Gorvy Hong Kong on July 7, 2020: Jean-Michel Basquiat: Royalty, Heroism, and the Streets brings a rare and exceptional painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat from his breakthrough year of 1982 and is the first Asia gallery presentation of the artist’s work.
Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) is an electrifying portrait of a Black hero figure standing proud amidst the chaos of abstracted painterly form and color. The canvas is one of Basquiat’s most impressive and important works, part self-portrait, part idol, part dream image, part nightmare vision. Untitled is one of famous trio of large-scale paintings on the theme of the prophet that Basquiat made in 1982, the pivotal year of the artist’s meteoric rise to international stardom. Supported by his first dealer Annina Nosei, who provided him with his first supply of high-quality working materials and a dedicated space to paint, Basquiat was able in 1982 to realize for the first time an ever-more extraordinary sequence of hauntingly powerful paintings depicting what he described as “royalty, heroism, and the streets.”