Jean-Michel Basquiat: “Sam F”

Exhibition Website

Jul 4 2021 - Feb 13 2023

Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the most important and celebrated American painters of the 1980s. 

Gifted to the DMA by the late Samuel and Helga Feldman, Sam F is the first work by the iconic artist to enter the Museum’s collection. 

The expressionistic portrait of Samuel exhibits Basquiat’s characteristic use of meaning-laden text and imagery drawn from multiple sources, including pop culture figures, music and literature, and art historical iconography. ​​

Basquiat created Sam F during a visit to Dallas in 1985. He was invited by contemporary art consultant Marcia May and her husband Alan to attend the DMA’s opening reception for the exhibition Primitivism in 20th Century Art. The artist stayed at the May residence for several weeks and regularly visited with the Feldmans, who lived in the same apartment complex. Basquiat often painted on salvaged materials, and Sam F is painted in oil on a door from the complex.

Focus Installation

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

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