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Basquiat at the Barbican – 21st September 2017 to 28th January 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­-1988). Basquiat came to the attention of the Art world in the late 1970s in the post-punk underground art scene in downtown New York. By 1982, he had gained international recognition and was the youngest ever artist to participate in Documenta 7 in Kassel. His vibrant, raw imagery, abounding with fragments of bold capitalised text, offers insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young black artist with no formal training. Since his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat has had remarkably little exposure in the UK; not a single work of his is held in a public collection. Drawing from international museums and private collections, Basquiat: Boom for Real brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never seen before in the UK, and opens at Barbican Art Gallery on 21 September 2017.

More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, writing, performance, film and television, placing him within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings, notebooks and objects are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and archival material, capturing the range and dynamism of Basquiat’s practice over the years.

Highlights of the Barbican’s exhibition include a partial reconstruction of Basquiat’s first body of exhibited work, made for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York / New Wave at P.S.1 in February 1981. Fifteen works are brought together for the first time in over 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of fellow artists and critics. The exhibition continues with an exploration of his energetic, often collaborative work as the prodigy of the downtown scene; from the birth of SAMO© to his relationship with Warhol. In the downstairs spaces, new scholarship sheds light on some of his most acclaimed paintings and drawings. A famously self-taught artist, Basquiat sampled from an extraordinary breadth of source material – from anatomical drawings to bebop jazz to silent film .

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

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Exhibition Review – Soldiers and suffragettes: the photography of Christina Broom at the Museum of London Docklands from 19th June to 1st November 2015

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Late 19th and early 20th photography has enjoyed a renaissance recently with a number of exhibitions and displays. However, The Museum of London Docklands present an exhibition exploring the genre but with a difference. The museum’s exhibition is entitled Soldiers and suffragettes: the photography of Christina Broom and explores the life and career of  Christina Broom who is considered  to be the UK’s first female press photographer.

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In a male dominated profession in the early 20th century, the few women who became photographers generally worked from a studio. Christina Broom became a pioneer  by taking to the streets to photograph newsworthy events. Considering the bulky and fragile equipment of the time, this was a risky and difficult undertaking.

Broom was driven to begin her photographic career in 1903 at the age of 40 by economic necessity when her husband, Albert Broom, was injured in a cricket accident and unable to work. Over the next thirty-six years until her death in 1939, Broom produced approximately 40,000 photographs selling many as postcards from her stall at the gates of the Royal Mews in London.

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The exhibition covers a wide range of Broom’s prolific output that includes Suffragette processions, First World War soldiers, official photographs of the Household Division and key London events, from the Lord Mayor’s Parade and royal coronations and funerals to historical pageants.

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To complement the  photographs are original glass plate negatives, personal possessions, a suffragette banner, letters, press passes, notebooks and a cuttings album.

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Walking around the exhibition, the viewer quickly realises that Broom created a unique visual record of the places, people and events of predominantly London in the early 20th century. This was a time of major upheavals both politically and socially, her photographs of the Suffragette processions  and  First World War soldiers illustrate some of the major events of the time.  Her reputation and press credentials gave her privileged access to a number of people and locations including Royalty.

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Whether it was Broom’s commercial activity or the fact she was a woman, her reputation as a photographer was not acknowledged until relatively recently. This exhibition represents a major  retrospective of Christina Broom’s extraordinary work and career. The majority of the exhibition content derives from the Museum of London’s collection of her work, including a 2014 acquisition of 2,500 photographs, supplemented with a few key loans from Royal Collections, The University of Texas, Austin and the National Portrait Gallery.

The Museum of London Docklands is located at West India Quay in the shadows of  Canary Wharf in East London. The Museum opened in 2003, in a  Grade One listed converted Georgian sugar warehouse which was part of the West India Docks.

The Soldiers and suffragettes: the photography of Christina Broom exhibition is Free and  open daily 10am – 6pm .

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more about the exhibition, visit the Museum of London Docklands website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here