200 Never Before And Rarely Seen Jean-Michel Basquiat Paintings Are Coming To New York
(Photo by Lee Jaffe/Getty Images)

The family of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat is preparing to present an exhibition of his work for the first time. Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © will open in his birthplace of New York City in the early Spring of 2022. It will include “over 200 never before and rarely seen paintings, drawings, multimedia presentations, ephemera and artifacts,” to offer a close and complex portrayal of Jean-Michel through the perspective of his family members. 

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The concept for the exhibition was conceived by the late artist’s sisters Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux. They manage the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat with the help of their stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick. The trio hope to present a new side to the famed creator. They are producing in partnership with ISG Productions Ltd., Superblue, Girlie Action Media and RXR Realty. 

“This exhibition showcasing the man behind the icon has been years in the making, from the initial idea in 2017 around the 30th anniversary of Jean-Michel’s passing to now,” Heriveaux said in a news release. “There’s been many exhibitions of Jean-Michel’s work, but never told from the perspective of the family – Jean-Michel as a child, a man, a son, and a brother. As we were all in lockdown, we said: ‘Maybe now is the right time.’” 

Added Lisane, “We wanted to bring his work and personality forward, in a way only his family can, for people to immerse themselves in.”

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Sister of US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeanine looks at brother’s artwork titled “Irony of a Negro Policeman” during the presentation of the “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now is the moment” exhibition at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, in the northern Spanish Basque city of Bilbao on July 2, 2015. Photo credit: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

The exhibition will be held on the ground floor of the historical Starrett-Lehigh Building. Located in the West Chelsea Historic District, the uniquely designed structure was built in 1931. It was featured in an International Exhibition of Modern Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932 and became an official New York City landmark in 1986.

Basquiat’s work is inextricably linked to the New York art scene and his visual legacy can be found across the city everywhere from song lyrics to giant murals. 

“We want this to be a multi-dimensional celebration of Jean-Michel’s life,” Lisane said.

Learn more about Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© here.