From September 7 to November 19, 2022, the Gradiva gallery offers, under the title of the exhibition "Resonance, Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Kongo Universe", an unprecedented aesthetic experiment.

In her spaces located at 9 quai Voltaire, she invites the visitor to be guided by emotion in the face of the formal dialogue she establishes between the drawings of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) and powerful figures of power nkisi nkonde of the Kongo cultural sphere from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren. The exhibition offers a dive into the heart of the works and their soul. 

The fruit of two years of work, this project was initiated before his death in 2020 by Enrico Navarra, a fervent defender of Jean-Michel Basquiat. An artistic adventure that could not have existed without the precious help of Alexandra Dubourg, Doriano Navarra and Romain Brun (Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris). All three have ensured the rigorous and coherent selection of around twenty drawings by Basquiat made between 1981 and 1987 and kept in private collections.

The Kongo component was entrusted to Julien Volper, curator of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren (Belgium), and Bernard Dulon, expert in ancient African arts. 

Some twenty remarkable “nail fetishes”, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic Nkisi Nkonde statues (Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and Angola), have thus been chosen from the museum's collections and made available to the public for the first time. A selection supplemented by a few special loans to meet the needs of the exhibition. 

Designed by René Bouchara, the scenography leads the visitor on a stroll that unfolds over the two floors of the marvelous XNUMXth century private mansion housing the Gradiva gallery. A prestigious setting for an extraordinary artistic dialogue. 


Resonance, Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Kongo Universe

From 7 September to 19 November 2022

Gallery Gradiva

9 Quai Voltaire, 75007 Paris

Visuals ©: Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat


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