Van de Weghe Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Between the years 1984-1985, Warhol and Basquiat merged their disparate approaches to painting into a dynamic group of collaborative works on canvas. The resulting paintings, six of which are displayed in the current exhibition, underscored each artist’s unique style and production method while at the same time giving rise to a vibrant and original body of work.
Warhol and Basquiat were formally introduced in the fall of 1982 by Swiss art dealer Bruno Bischofberger and soon thereafter formed a personal and professional relationship that would remain significant until Warhol’s death in February of 1987. Each artist was legendary in his own lifetime, a champion of a trademark style that would appear to rival the other: Basquiat’s hand-made, graffiti gesture vs. Warhol’s mechanical methods and ready-made iconography. Indeed, Tony Shafrazi advertised his September 1985 exhibition of the works with a poster featuring the two artists ready to spar in boxing gloves. Basquiat’s youth, energy and improvisational approach to painting paired with Warhol’s slick and stylized production methods, synthesize unexpectedly into a brilliant visual dialogue. Artist Keith Haring describes this harmonious artistic exchange as:
"…. a physical conversation happening in paint instead of words. The sense of humor, the snide remarks, the profound realizations, the simple chit-chat all happened with paint and brushes…There was a sense that one was watching something being unveiled and discovered for the first time. "
In each of the six collaborative paintings on view: Amoco, 1984; Untitled (50-Dentures), 1984; Poison Eel, 1984-85; Hot Water, 1985; Fuck You Dentures, 1985 and Felix the Cat, 1984-85, both Warhol and Basquiat’s contributions are undeniably emblematic. Warhol’s input is usually spare and to the point; he marks his territory with a singular icon or logo. This declaration defines each canvas by giving it structure. Basquiat in turn is left to respond with wild applications of oil and acrylic, scrawling and slashing across each canvas with free association word play and graffiti inspired imagery. The works are truly a collaboration of different minds, a pure expression of each individual. Both Warhol and Basquiat, in the end, leave behind the best of what each has to offer.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, and by appointment. For further information, please contact the gallery.