UCCA Beijing

Somewhere Downtown

2022.9.24 - 2023.1.29

Maripol, Jean-Michel Basquiat in the loft, 1982, Polaroid SX 70 on museum paper, 91.44 x 91.44 cm. © Maripol.

About

Location:  Great Hall

“Somewhere Downtown” is an evocation and celebration of downtown New York City during the 1980s. Set amid the ruin and neglect of New York at its economic nadir, the exhibition reveals a creative zenith of expression and experimentation. Dozens of artists who once existed among overlapping communities of shared dreams and collective obscurity now stand among the most important artists of the late twentieth century. Curated by Carlo McCormick and UCCA Curator-at-Large Peter Eleey, “Somewhere Downtown” provides an experience of the era as a conversation between artists of very different backgrounds and intentions, narrating a period of radical experimentation against a backdrop of the AIDS crisis, the rapid gentrification of the city, and the development of consumer culture.  Neither chronological nor separated by divisions of genre or medium, the exhibition spans strategies of conceptual, political, and graffiti art, as well as new modes of expression born in the nightclubs and on the streets. Featuring the most celebrated figures alongside those lesser-known, “Somewhere Downtown” includes several defining works of this generation, such as paintings and drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, which are shown in China for the first time.