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Man Made: A selling exhibition of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat opens at Sotheby's S/2 Galleries
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Love Dub for A. Signed, titled and dated 1987 on the reverse. Acrylic and oilstick on canvas, 87 by 114¼ in. 221 by 290.2 cm. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- From 2 May through 9 June 2013, Sotheby’s S|2 private sales galleries in New York will host an exhibition of works by the Brooklyn-born painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, offering a comprehensive view of his short but legendary career. From simple works on paper in marker and crayon from 1979 to monumental and highly-finished canvases from 1987, the year before his untimely death, the exhibition highlights important milestones in the artist’s oeuvre.

The more than 30 works included in the show explore key themes Basquiat grappled with during his career and the variety of media he used to express them. The exhibition, which will transform Sotheby’s S|2 gallery, opens at a key moment of appreciation for both the artist’s career and market with major museum exhibitions and gallery shows presented and record prices achieved in recent years. This private selling exhibition will coincide with Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary exhibitions, which open on 3 May 2013.

Punch Bag depicts a black boxer, one of the most iconic images associated with Basquiat’s work, and among those most commercially desirable. He had a deep affection and respect for black athletes, specifically boxers like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, which were often portrayed in his paintings. Punch Bag was painted in St. Moritz at Swiss Dealer Bruno Bischofberger’s home in 1983, the first year they began working together. A series of 26 photographs follow Basquiat’s painting process from start to finish. Punch Bag has been in a European collector’s home since the late 1990s, when it was purchased. Love Dub for A was completed in his last year of painting in 1987, the year before he died. It is a fully developed, bright and fresh painting, quite unlike many of his other works. The exceptional canvas is monumental in scale and completely fresh to the market, never having been at auction before.

Sotheby’s state-of-the-art private gallery space within its New York headquarters is dedicated to hosting special selling exhibitions of contemporary art. Designed by architect Richard Gluckman, who also created the celebrated auction galleries on the 10th floor of Sotheby’s York Avenue building, S|2 hosts shows that focus on unique artists or themes – from exhibitions dedicated to the works of Keith Haring and Sam Francis to shows curated by prominent art world figures Vito Schnabel and Josh Baer. The works on display in S|2 are available for private sale, offering an exciting dimension to the Sotheby’s experience beyond auction.

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