A Jean-Michel Basquiat painting is making headlines as one dealer brings the $40 million USD Hardware Store painting to market for the first time ever.
Hardware Store is a standout piece at this year’s Art Basel in Switzerland. The piece was painted in 1983 and has since been in the same private collection. The work has previously been featured in other major Basquiat exhibitions including at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1992-1993 and in Paris at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2018-2019. Hardware Store is considered the artist’s largest cross-bar diptychs.
The painting stands approximately 7 feet tall and 11 feet wide. Combining two canvases, one in yellow and the other in blue, the piece features a slew of floating heads and skulls amidst Basquiat’s signature scrawled text, which includes phrases like “eel” and “estimated value.” The painting is expected to be one of the most expensive pieces from this year’s Art Basel fair with its $40 million USD price. Hardware Store is offered by New York’s Van de Weghe gallery, but the seller’s identity is kept anonymous. Having never hit the market prior to this, Van de Weghe said that in 1983, it was part of Basquiat’s second show at Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, though it was not for sale then. He added, “This painting has amazing visual power. I convinced the owner, who is a good friend, that now is the time to sell.”
In other art news, you can now take part in Tom Sachs’ immersive SPACE PROGRAM: RARE EARTHS.