The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Basquiat at the Barbican in 2017

Opening in the Barbican Gallery in 2017, Basquiat: Boom for Real will be the first large-scale UK exhibition of iconic painter and New York downtown scene prodigy Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Discover the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 1980s downtown New York art scene. Engage in the explosive creativity of this self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician, who worked with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Blondie, among others.

This unprecedented exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works from international museums and private collections, many never before seen in the UK. This is also the first exhibition to focus on Basquiat’s relationship to music, literature, film and television. Incorporating rare photography, film footage and archive material, the exhibition captures the spirit of an artist whose impact and influence, since his death at 27 in 1988, have been enormous.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is curated by Dr Dieter Buchhart and Eleanor Nairne, Curator, Barbican Art Gallery and organised in collaboration with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.


To accompany the exhibition, the Barbican Cinema will run The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90 alongside the show with a line-up including Basquiat’s former girlfriend Madonna in Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan and Jim Jarmusch’s Permanent Vacation, which saw Basquiat use the set as a makeshift crash pad.

Capturing the artistic freedom of the era, the screenings will complement Basquiat: Boom for Real and shed a new light on this period of significant historical change and creative energy.

Basquiat: Boom for Real takes place from 21 September 2017–28 January 2018. The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90 takes places from 29 September 2017–5 October 2017.