Bungled Basquiat Burglary, Milton Avery Retrospectives

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960-1988

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a superstar during his lifetime and remains a superstar today. The popularity of his work has been enhanced by today’s pop culture. Rapper Jay Z posed as Basquiat in a Tiffany’s ad recently (and owns a Basquiat painting), Basquiat’s family has recreated his childhood home in an exhibit at the Starrett-Lehigh building in Manhattan and he’s been honored with a plaque on the Left Bank in Paris.

A couple who, apparently, wanted to own a work by Basquiat, walked into the Taglialatella Gallery in Chelsea on May 14, walked into the owner’s office and took Basquiat’s Dog Leg Study and a nearly empty bottle of Maker’s Mark.

The man and woman didn’t get far. They were stopped by a gallery employee who retrieved the screenprint, which is valued at $45,000. They left with the whiskey.

Couple who tried to steal Basquiat’s screenprint caught on camera in vicinity of gallery.

NYPD are still looking for the pair, who were said to have “an unknown European accent”.

Four days after the attempted robbery, an untitled work by Basquiat sold at Phillips auction for $86 million.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Phooey, 1982
43 1/2 × 84 in
110.5 × 213.4 cm
Edition of 60
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Jean-Michel Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at age 27, more than thirty years ago, and his influence on art, music, culture and fashion is still profound, as can be seen in this CBS News report.

Milton Avery 1885-1965

I never have any rules to follow. I follow myself. – Milton Avery

Milton Avery’s unique use of color and composition made him an outlier in the American art scene in the mid-twentieth century, yet his influence on young artists was enormous.

Sally and Milton Avery with their daughter, March. 1938

Avery’s works are in the permanent collections of some of the most prestigious museums in the world, like the Met, MoMA, the Hirshhorn, the Whitney and the Barnes Foundation, yet he has not had a retrospective since one at the Whiney in 1982.

There are currently two  major exhibits of Milton Avery’s works on display. One is at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the other a retrospective at the Yares Art Gallery in Manhattan.

Milton Avery: Man and Sea

Milton Avery
Man and Sea, 1948
22 x 30 inches
Signed: Milton Avery 1948 (l.r.)
For sale at Surovek Gallery

The exhibit at the Wadsworth consists of nearly 70 paintings. It was organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in collaboration with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It is the largest exhibit of Avery’s work since the 1982 retrospective at the Whitney. The exhibit runs through June 5, 2022.

The exhibit at Yares Art, Fifty Paintings/Fifty Years commemorates the gallery’s half-century relationship with Avery’s estate. The exhibit will be on display through July 30, 2022.

Milton Avery
Artist’s Wife, 1930

A third exhibit, at New York’s D. Wigmore Fine Art Gallery, is dedicated to the work of Sally Michel, Milton Avery’s wife, who worked as an illustrator for more than thirty years to support her husband’s artistic career.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Milton Avery or any of the other fine artists whose work is available at Surovek Gallery.

Chantal Da Silva. Man, woman try to steal $45K Basquiat painting from Manhattan gallery, police say. NBC News. May 26, 2022.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Couple Attempts to Steal a Framed Basquiat Artwork From a Manhattan Gallery. HypeArt. May 27, 2022.
Jesse O’Neill. Suspects try to steal $45K Basquiat painting from Manhattan exhibit. The New York Post. May 25, 2022.
Roberta Smith. A Singular American Painter and His Perennially Disregarded Wife. The New York Times. May 12, 2022.
Murray White. Milton Avery’s color sense and sensibility. The Boston Globe. May 19, 2022.
2022-06-10T13:52:56-04:00 June 1st, 2022|

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