There are plenty of galleries and museums in New York, all incredibly versatile and beautiful in their own right, but there's something about the Brant Foundation at 421 East 6th Street in the East Village that tugs at all the senses— especially when displaying works by the same artists that have called the neighborhood home for years throughout history.
Case in point: the latest exhibit to be mounted in the space, "Basquiat x Warhol," a traveling show from Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, that focuses on the unique collaboration between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, two figures that have all but defined the city's downtown art scene in the 1980s.
Officially open on November 1 through January 7, 2024, tickets for the first set of dates of the "Basquiat x Warhol" exhibition are now on sale right here.
Here are a few things to keep in mind on your visit:
You'll Get to See Some Iconic Works
From "Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper)" to "Felix the Cat," the new show highlights a wide variety of works that the two artists have collaborated on throughout their respective careers, each one tackling themes like colonialism, police brutality, gentrification and a vast variety of other sociopolitical issues that we are still contending with today.
Interestingly enough, some of the paintings that Warhol and Basquiat had produced together back in the '80s were shown to the public at Tony Shafrazi's New York gallery in 1985.
At the time, the exhibit was not received well by the media, actually convincing the creatives to put an end to their collaboration. This new exhibition seeks to confirm the strength of their relationship and their artistic output, celebrating their long-spanning careers as a duo and as single entities as well.
Warhol and Basquiat's Relationship Was a Fruitful One
The two artists first met in 1982, when gallerist Bruno Bischofberger invited Basquiat to Warhol's famous Factory.
The two took a photo together and, a mere couple of hours later, Basquiat produced a double portrait that's currently part of the new exhibit.
In 1984, the artists' collaboration officially kicked off, one that yielded close to 160 canvases.
"Meeting almost every day, the pair would work on multiple monumental canvases at once, from early hours into the evening," reads a press release. "This enthusiastic exchange of energy is exemplified in their paintings, which illustrate a back and forth between that is both tense and complimentary."
As explained by the artists themselves back in the day, one of them would start a canvas and include his very unique iconography on it. The other would then spend some time with it, marking it with his own recognizable style.
"Warhol’s screen-printed advertisements and cultural symbols are effaced by Basquiat’s iconic figures and signs," reads the release. "Newspaper headlines included by Warhol are obscured and rewritten by Basquiat; scenes painted in Basquiat’s conceptual Neo-Expressionist style are joined by Warhol’s precise appropriations of brand logos."
The Gallery Itself is Worth Learning More About
The Brant Foundation is a private art collection and gallery that boasts two exhibition spaces, the one in the East Village and another one in Greenwich, Connecticut. Art collector Peter Brant owns the collections, although the latter isn't open to the public
The Greenwich location opened back in 2009. The Manhattan museum debuted about a decade later, in 2019, in a stunning building that used to be a Consolidated Edison substation.
Artist Walter Der Maria actually bought the space to use as his studio after it was no longer a ConEd property. Brant purchased it after De Maria's passing in 2013, funding a major renovation that has turned the building into the perfect venue for relatievly small exhibitions with a modern bend.