You are here

Downtown 81

Film/Video

Photo courtesy Zeitgeist Films
Downtown 81
Edo Bertoglio, 1981/2000
Fri, Mar 29, 2002 7 PM
Sat, Mar 30, 2002 7 PM
"An extraordinary real-life snapshot of hip, arty, clubland Manhattan in the post-punk era."--Variety

"Basquiat is a joy to watch! He floats thought the movie with cool grace and unflagging energy, heÌs a natural in front of the lens."--Artforum

Downtown 81 stars the legendary New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Although a central figure within the Downtown music and art scenes of 1981, the charismatic 19-year-old painter, graffiti artist, poet, and musician had yet to have his first exhibition. And although it's not a documentary, the film captures that potential and presents a romantic, magical version of the moment.

Only completed in 2000, when missing materials were gathered and postproduced, Downtown 81 has emerged as a uniquely evocative time capsule of a long-gone scene. Featuring Deborah Harry, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and DNA, with additional music from Melle Mel, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Suicide, Vincent Gallo, and Basquiat's own band, Gray. (72 mins.)

Josef Albers, Leaf Study IX, c. 1940Leaves on paper28 x 24 ¾ inches© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society New YorkPhoto: Tim Nighswander/Imaging 4 Art

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957
opens September 17, 2016.

Join us for the Fall Exhibition Preview on September 16.