(St. Moritz, Switzerland)—This July, Vito Schnabel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by artists active during the 1980s, including Laurie Anderson, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Keith Haring, Sherrie Levine, McDermott & McGough, Rene Ricard, David Salle, Kenny Scharf, Julian Schnabel, and Andy Warhol.
The signature feature of ‘80s painting and sculpture was a return to more figurative motifs. Expressive, gestural works are a hallmark of the period, intersecting at their extreme end with street graffiti art. These artists, known loosely as the Neo-Expressionist movement, drew upon a variety of themes, with their work characterized by bold color, aggressive brushstrokes, and, very often, a radical or at least populist political slant.
Artists working at the time evolved from the styles of their predecessors, while experimenting with new techniques and crafting their own—from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s use of mixed media to Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf’s cartoonish figures. Both Rene Ricard and Basquiat found ways to integrate text into their work, using elements of appropriation. George Condo’s Homage to Manet, 1985, emerges from the tradition of 19th century painting, while David Salle’s Baby Madhouse, 1980, juxtaposes the figurative with abstraction. Also part of the exhibition will be Laurie Anderson’s video work Drum Dance from Home of the Brave, 1986, which will be projected on continuous loop, adding a performative element. The exhibition explores the ways in which artists responded to the zeitgeist of the ‘80s and reacted to the cultural climate of the time.