Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat
May 13 - June 10
An Exhibition and Special Events
Curated by Sara Driver, Carlo McCormick, Mary-Ann Monforton and Howl! Happening
Opening Sunday, May 13, 2018 / 6–8 PM / Free
Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project is pleased to announce Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat, a group exhibition focusing on the artists and scene around Jean-Michel Basquiat’s teen-aged, pre-fame years. Curated by Howl! Happening, Sara Driver, Carlo McCormick, and Mary-Ann Monforton, Zeitgeist complements and amplifies the theatrical release of Sara Driver’s film BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat from Magnolia Pictures. The film premieres on May 11th at IFC, New York.
The period covered in the exhibition and film tells the story of Jean-Michel’s early work, peers, and creative community in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—before the rise of the 80s art and real estate juggernaut. It was a time when decay, drugs, and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, and self-promotion. For these creators, to be a penniless published poet or a musician gigging at CBs was the height of success. In the rawness of the work, the focus on street art and graffiti, and the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines, the era has become a flash point for younger generations seeking to learn about and understand the authenticity, closeness, and community expressed in the work of the artists in Zeitgeist.
The exhibition—and a series of special events—illuminate Basquiat’s work and that of his friends and other artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians who emerged from that scene, including:
Alexis Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Ted Barron, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philippe Bordas, Robert Carrithers, Henry Chalfant, Brett De Palma, Vivienne Dick, Jane Dickson, Al Diaz, Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Robert Goldman aka Bobby G, Godlis, Nan Goldin, Richard, Hambleton, Becky Howland, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, Justen, Ladda, Ann Messner, Mary-Ann Monforton, James Nares, Glenn O’Brien, Franc Palaia, Lee Quiñones, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Luc Sante, Kenny Scharf, Paul Tschinkel, Robin Winters, and Bob Gruen.
Special events will include:
- A panel discussion featuring Alexis Adler, Felice Rosser, Lee Quiñones, Al Diaz, and more
- A screening of Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary Burroughs: The Movie from the Criterion Collection
- An evening of films featuring an experimental film by Basquiat’s bandmate Michael Holman, with a soundtrack by Gray, the band he and Basquiat formed; David Schmidlapp’s film of Walter Steding playing beneath the Brooklyn Bridge; and Paul Tschinkel’s film about New York/New Wave, curator Diego Cortez’s groundbreaking exhibition at PS1 in 1981
- A performance by Felice Rosser
Film Series in collaboration with Anthology Film Archives. Anthology Film Archives will present a special, 2-part film series to celebrate the Zeitgeist exhibition at Howl! and the release of Boom for Real. Part 1 (May 4-14) brings together a selection of films about or involving Basquiat, as well as works that came out of the same era and milieu. For Part 2 (May 17-29), various participants in Boom for Real will guest-select films from the period that they feel have been overlooked, or simply films that influenced their own work. Curators include Sara Driver, Charlie Ahearn, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Lee Quinones, Felice Rosser, and Luc Sante. For more visit: anthologyfilmarchives.org.
photo credit: Robert Carrithers, 1979