Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat
Friday, January 25 – Friday, March 22
Proudly Presented by Contemporary Art Toledo
A group exhibition, Zeitgeist focuses on the artists and scene around Jean-Michel Basquiat’s teenage, pre-fame years in New York and complements Sara Driver’s 2018 theatrical documentary, “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat”.
The neo-expressionist’s paintings made a lasting impact in the art world and beyond. Like the film, Zeitgeist tells the story of Basquiat’s early work, peers and the creative community in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York City. He lived in a time of decay, drugs and dissolution fueled by a boom in creativity where the definition of fame, success and power was not based on money, Instagram likes and self-promotion.
For creators such as Basquiat and his peers, to be penniless and a published poet or a musician headlining at CBGBs was the height of success. The focus of street art and graffiti along with the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines helped the era 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 illuminates 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
- Phillipe Bordaz
- Robert Carrithers
- Henry Chalfant
- Brett De Palma
- Vivienne Dick
- Jane Dickson
- Al Diaz
- Barbara Ess
- Coleen Fitzgibbon
- Fab 5 Freddy
- Robert Goldman aka Bobby G Godlis
- Nan Goldin
- Bob Gruen
- Richard Hambleton
- Michael Holman
- Becky Howland
- Tessa Hughes-Freeland
- Jim Jarmusch
- Justen Ladda
- Ann Messner
- Mary-Ann Monforton
- James Nares
- Glenn O’Brien
- Franc Palaia
- Lee Quinones
- Walter Robinson
- Christy Rupp
- Luc Sante
- Kenny Scharf
- Paul Tschinkel
- Robin Winters
About Jean-Michel Basquiat
Born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in a multicutural home. His mother was of Puerto Rican decent and encourgaged his self-taught artistry. His father, a Haitian-American accountant, brought home scraps of paper from the office, providing the resources young Basquiat needed.
He first became noticed for his graffiti on the subway and buildings under the name “SAMO” (same old) in New York City.
After quiting school and being kicked out of his home, he was homeless. He sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets before his painting career took off. He collaborated with the likes of Andy Warhol in the 1980s and was known for painting in expensive Armani suits and then would appear in public in the same paint-splattered clothing. He dated Madonna in 1982 when both were rising stars in their respective art and music worlds.
The art public loved his work and began paying as much as $50,000 for a Basquiat original. In 2017, a Japanese billionaire paid $100.5 million for one of Basquiat’s 1982 works, “Untitled,” at a Sotheby’s auction. A record at the time, the sale remains one of the largest art auction house transactions on record.
Basquiat died in 1988 at age 27 following a drug overdose.
Public Reception and Movie Screening
Saturday, February 9
- Reception 5-7 p.m.
- Movie Screening of BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat at 7 p.m. (run time 1 hour, 19 minutes)
- Q&A with curator Carlo McCormick, following the movie
All are welcome.
Terhune Gallery Contact & Hours
Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The Gallery is also open during special events that occur in the CFPA and also may be opened by appointment. Call (567) 661-7081 to arrange a time.
Owens Community College and the Department of Fine and Performing Arts promotes freedom of expression without restriction on content or form. The views expressed in the works exhibited in the Walter E. Terhune Gallery are those of the exhibitors and may not be those of the Department or the College.
View the Art Gallery Proposal Guidelines (pdf).
About the Walter E. Terhune Gallery
The 1,300-square foot Gallery is part of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. It is committed to exhibiting diverse, vibrant visual arts created by faculty, students and community members, and to embedding arts programming within the curriculum. Exhibits at the Gallery — both in the main exhibit space and along the outside wall — have spanned a wide range of media and styles, from traditional art to interactive, multi-media installations.
The Gallery is named on behalf of the Walter E. Terhune, following a donation in 2003 to the Owens Community College Foundation from KeyBank’s Terhune Memorial Fund. Established in 1926, the Walter E. Terhune Memorial Fund was created by Mr. Terhune’s daughter, Alice Crosby Terhune, to honor her father who was a longtime Toledo businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Terhune was an owner and officer of Clark and Terhune Lumber Merchants, a successful lumber company in the 1800s.