previews

New York

“BASQUIAT’S ‘DEFACEMENT’: THE UNTOLD STORY”

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
1071 Fifth Avenue

Curated by Chaédria LaBouvier with Nancy Spector and Joan Young

This woefully timely exhibition takes Basquiat’s rarely shown painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) as its inspiration. Created in 1983 as a response to the killing of the artist Michael Stewart by New York City transit police, after he allegedly tagged a subway station in the East Village, Basquiat painted Defacement directly on the wall of Keith Haring’s studio. In addition to paintings by Basquiat, the exhibition will include works addressing the murder by Haring, George Condo, David Hammons, and Lyle Ashton Harris, as well as paintings and drawings by Stewart himself. Dealing with structural racism, black history, protest, street art, and the mythos of the 1980s art world, “Defacement” suggests that that era’s art and politics remain a fecund terrain for excavation.