Jean Prouvé, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring

17.09.2018 – 18.10.2018

In collaboration with Galerie Patrick Seguin

Jean PROUVE (1901-1984) is one of the pioneers of the innovative production of 20th century furniture and architecture. Son of a founder of the School of Nancy and godson of Emile Gallé, he is imbued with the creative philosophy of this artistic group, whose main desire is to combine art with industry to make it accessible to all. Anxious to fit in with his time, he explored all the technical resources of metal and quickly moved from working with wrought iron to constructive applications of bent sheet metal. Considering “that there is no difference between the construction of a piece of furniture and a house”, Jean Prouvé developed “a constructive thought” based on a logic of manufacture and functionality which generates an aesthetic stripped of all artifice, thus joining the doctrine of the Union of Modern Artists of which he is a founding member alongside Le Corbusier, Jeanneret and Perriand.

Jean-Michel BASQUIAT (1960-1988) was born in Brooklyn (USA) to a Puerto Rican-born mother and a Haitian father. He was raised in the comfort of the middle class in New York City. At a very young age, he showed great interest in drawing, encouraged by both of his parents. His father would often bring him drawing paper and his mother would take him to visit museums. In 1968, after being hit by a car, young Basquiat remained in hospital for a month. During his recovery, his mother gave him a copy of the famous textbook Anatomy by Gray. Treasured by medical students for the anatomical plates, this book was later to have a strong influence on his work. From 1977 to 1979, under the signature of “SAMO©” (Same Old Shit), Basquiat sprayed graffiti on the walls of Manhattan with his friend Al Diaz. He then met Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, but also Diego Cortez who became his first art dealer. In 1980, Basquiat participated in his first group exhibition, Times Square Show, along with David Hammons, Jenny Holzer, Kiki Smith and Kenny Scharf. The sales of his works enable him to move into a real studio. Along with Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe, he took part in New York/New Wave, a show organised by Diego Cortez in 1981. Three art dealers became interested in his work: Bruno Bischofberger, Annina Nosei and Emilio Mazzoli who gave him his first solo exhibition in Modena (Italy). He participated in several group exhibitions which confirmed the recognition of his talent and his growing fame. 1982 was a year of glory for Basquiat, with his first solo exhibition in the U.S. at the Annina Nosei Gallery (NYC), highly praised by critics and professionals. He worked frantically and continued to have more and more exhibitions across the continents, from the US to Japan, from France to Ivory Coast. On August 12, 1988, Basquiat was found dead in his apartment on Great Jones Street.

Keith HARING (1958 – 1990) was born on May 4, 1958, in Pennsylvania (USA). In 1977, he starts studying advertising graphics in Pittsburgh, then left to study at the School of Visual Arts in NY. In 1981, he began to cover advertisement panels with graffiti in the New York subway. He befriends Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Kenny Scharf, and he had his first exhibition at Tony Shafrazi’s gallery, then at Léo Castelli, who was managing his entrance in the artistic world. Haring draws directly on his supports, according to his inspiration, generally without preliminary drawing. As an engaged artist, he’s involved in many themes, such as war or drug, and racial and sexual prejudices. Haring has created an iconography and an original vocabulary, surely one of the most spontaneously spread and unconsciously copied in the world, owed to a simplification and a purified symbolisation shoved to the extreme, but also thanks to the choice of producing multiples and selling designed products. In 1987, Keith Haring learned that he had AIDS, and therefore created the Keith Haring Foundation to raise funds for the fight against this disease. He died in NY on February 16, 1990.