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Now at the Seattle Art Museum: Painting that fetched a record price

Basquiat "Untitled" (Photo from Seattle Art Museum)

A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat will be on exhibit starting Wednesday at the Seattle Art Museum -- the first West Coast view for a painting that fetched a record price at auction.

In May the work, simply called "Untitled," sold for a record $110.5 million at auction. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced work of art, according to NPR.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa bought the 1982 painting and said he would loan the work -- which hadn't been seen by the public for more than 30 years -- to institutions and exhibits.

It is now on a world tour.

The Seattle Art Museum says the painting is "a grand example of Basquiat's expressive and charged style, the loan of this painting gives us the opportunity to consider the friendship between Basquiat, who was 21 years old when he painted it, and Andy Warhol, one of the pivotal figures of pop art."

The museum says Basquiat's work focuses on black culture in America.

"The Brooklyn artist’s meteoric rise as a new voice occurred between 1980 and 1982 and dovetailed with the underground club scene in Lower Manhattan. Between 1982 and 1983, Basquiat and Andy Warhol became more deeply acquainted and developed a close working relationship, including painting each other’s portraits and collaborating on work. The fleeting nature of celebrity was a common interest, although they articulated their views in radically different ways. In memory of their shared time, Basquiat’s 'Untitled' is presented here opposite Andy Warhol’s'Double Elvis,' " the Seattle Art Museum says.

The artist died of a heroin overdose in 1988.

There is more on the exhibit, which ends Aug, 13, here.



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