LOUIS VUITTON FOUNDATION
NEW EXHIBITIONS FROM JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT & EGON SCHIELE
La Fondation Louis Vuitton unveils two new exhibitions, from opposite ends of the 20th century. Simultaneously bringing together never before seen Basquiat artwork from private collections, as well as the first Schiele exhibition in Paris for over 25 years.
From Europe – Vienna – to America – New York, the lives and works of Egon Schiele and Jean-Michel Basquiat are fascinating for their fleetingness and their intensity. Both died aged 28. In under a decade, they became major figures in the art of their century. They are linked by their destiny and their fortune, that of a short-lived body of work, the impact, and permanency of which have few equals.
Their formidable output can be explained by their passion for life which today, in the 21st century, has made them real “icons” for new generations. The vital necessity of art is the main element of these two.
A – Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
The exhibition brings together some 120 works – drawings, gouaches, and paintings – over more than 600m2, in the pool-level galleries (Gallery 1). It is organized chronologically across four rooms, following the concept of line and its development in the artist’s work.
The exhibition’s four chapters are entitled:
The Ornamental Line (1908-1909); The Existential Line of Expressionism (1910-1911), The Physical Balance of the Combined Line at the Dawn of the First World War (1912-1914), and The Amputated, Fragmented Line during the War Years (1915-1918).
As the first monograph of Schiele in Paris for 25 years, the exhibition includes works of the highest order, such as “Self-Portrait with a Chinese Lantern” (1912), on loan from the Leopold Museum (Vienna), “Pregnant Woman and Death” (1911), from the Národní gallery (Poland), “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife Seated, Holding Her Right Leg” (1917) from the Morgan Library & Museum (New York), “Standing Nude with Blue Sheet” (1914) from the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, “Seated Male Nude” (1910) from the Neue Galerie New York, and “Self-Portrait” (1912) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Egon Schiele’s work is indissociable from the Viennese spirit of the early 20th century. In just a few years, his drawing emerged as one of the peaks of expressionism. Before he was struck down by Spanish influenza in 1918, the artist had created some three hundred paintings and several thousand drawings over the course of ten years.
B – Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
The work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most significant painters of the 20th century, is spread over four levels of Frank Gehry’s building. The exhibition covers the painter’s whole career, from 1980 to 1988, focusing on 120 defining works. With the Heads from 1981-1982, gathered for the first time here, and the presentation of several collaborations between Basquiat and Warhol, the exhibition includes works previously unseen in Europe, essential works such as Obnoxious Liberals (1982), In Italian (1983), and Riding with Death (1988), as well as paintings which have rarely been seen since their first presentations during the artist’s lifetime, such as Offensive Orange (1982), Untitled (Boxer) (1982), and Untitled (Yellow Tar and Feathers) (1982).
At a young age, Jean-Michel Basquiat left school and made his first studio in the streets of New York. Very quickly, his painting achieved great success, which the artist both sought out and felt subjected to. His work refers back to the eruption of modernity, that of the expressionists, but his filiations are numerous. The acuteness of his gaze, his visits to museums, and the reading of a number of books gave him a real sense of culture. Yet his gaze was directed: the absence of black artists being painfully evident, the artist imposed the need to depict African and African American culture and revolts in equal measure in his work. Basquiat’s death in 1988 interrupted a very prolific body of work, carried out in under a decade, with over one thousand paintings and even more drawings.