Ongoing
Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Gener...

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Gener...

Presented by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The post-graffiti moment in 1980s New York City marked the transition of street art from city walls and subway trains onto canvas and into the art world. Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) became the galvanizing, iconic frontrunner of this transformational and insurgent movement in contemporary American art, which resulted in an unprecedented fusion of creative energies that defied longstanding racial divisions. This exhibition features his works in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music, and fashion, alongside works by his contemporaries—and sometimes collaborators—A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee, and Toxic. Throughout the 1980s, these artists fueled new directions in fine art, design, and music, driving the now-global popularity of hip-hop culture.

“Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” illuminates how this group’s subversive abstractions of both visual and verbal language—including neo-expressionism, freestyle sampling, and wildstyle lettering—rocketed their creative voices onto the main stages of international art and music. It is the first major exhibition to contextualize Basquiat’s work in relation to hip-hop and marks the first time his extensive, robust, and reflective portraiture of his Black and Latinx friends and fellow artists has been given prominence in scholarship on his oeuvre. Notable among those works is the much-revered painting Hollywood Africans, which lionizes Toxic and Rammellzee, the legendary artist/philosopher who is also represented with multiple works in “Writing the Future,” and with whom Basquiat created the prophetic, influential, and talismanic rap song “Beat Bop.”

Dates & Times

2020/10/18 - 2021/05/16

Location Info

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Parking Info

Self Parking Options

Visitors to the MFA have three self-parking options: the Huntington Lot, the Fenway Lot, and the Museum Road Garage, all of which have entrances on Museum Road. The Huntington lot offers closer parking to the Huntington Avenue Entrance and the Fenway parking lot is more accessible to the State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance.

All parking facilities have handicap spaces.

Please take your parking ticket with you; all parking facilities are automated. Payment for parking may be made in the garage lobby, or by credit or debit card at the exit lanes of the lots. Scan your membership card to receive the discounted rate.

For additional information, please call the garage at 617-369-3657.