In 1981, Rene Ricard wrote an essay for Artforum about a little-known artist named Jean-Michel Basquiat. Ricard’s glowing appraisal caught the art world by surprise and turned Basquiat into a star. Two other Artforum essays of the 80s similarly elevated unknown downtown scamps—Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel. Ricard was an art critic, a poet, a painter, and a regular at Andy Warhol’s factory. He was also a dedicated flâneur. As he wrote in a 1978 New York Times op-ed, “I’ve never worked a day in my life. If I did it would probably ruin my career.” Featuring Ricard’s found objects and paintings, figurative ones as well as his late 1980s “poetry paintings”—antique canvases decorated with his poems—this exhibition looks at a life lived for art. —J.D.
Vito Schnabel 43 Clarkson Street, New York, NY 10014 Get Directions »