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Eli and Edythe Broad have been regular visitors to Art Basel along with the founding director of the Broad, Joanne Heyler. But this year the collectors are giving the fair a miss: opening the Broad on September 20, a $140m, 120,000 sq. ft museum on Los Angeles’s Grand Avenue, has had to take priority.

Heyler is busy overseeing the installation of the inaugural hang in the Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed space, which will feature works from the Broad’s own collection and that of the Broad Art Foundation, which they established in 1984.

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Joanne Heyler, the Director and Chief Curator of the forthcoming Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, has revealed select details surrounding the institution’s inaugural exhibit. The Broad, which will showcase the extensive collection of the financier/philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, will open to the public in fall 2015. The museum was originally slated to open in 2014, but officials announced in February that the date had been pushed to 2015 due to construction delays.

Designed by the New York City-based architecture firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, the $140-million Broad boasts 120,000 square feet and will serve as the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation, a lending library of postwar and contemporary artworks founded by the Broads in 1984.

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Acquavella Galleries in New York is currently hosting the exhibition “Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing: Works from the Schorr Family Collection.” The show was curated by Fred Hoffman, who was introduced to Basquiat by fellow art dealer Larry Gagosian in 1982. Hoffman helped Basquiat produce five editions of prints, which were published in 1983 by New City Editions in Venice, California. Hoffman also assisted in the production of the artist’s 1984 silkscreen paintings and co-curated Basquiat’s retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum in 2005. He is the Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

“Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing” features 22 works on paper and two paintings from the collection of Herbert and Lenore Schorr, Los Angeles-based collectors who met the artist in 1981, before his first exhibition in New York. The Schorrs quickly became Basquiat’s devoted collectors, supporters, and friends. While the couple owns several seminal Basquiat paintings, what makes their holdings so unique is their vast collection of works on paper. Hoffman said, “The Schorrs astutely understood that working on paper was equally central to his practice as painting on canvas. The collection demonstrates both the focus and ambition that the artist invested in the medium of drawing.” Drawing is an essential component of Basquiat’s graffiti-inspired Neo-expressionist and Primitivist works. Between 1980-1988, the artist produced approximately 1,000 works on paper that exemplify his frenetic, bold, and gestural style.

The two paintings on view at Acquavella Galleries include a portrait that Basquiat painted of the Schorrs and “Leonardo da Vinci’s Greatest Hits,” which was part of an exhibition at Fun Gallery in New York in 1983. The show didn’t receive any critical attention and the Schorrs were the only people to buy a painting. “Leonardo da Vinci’s Greatest Hits” is now considered a foremost example of Basquiat’s work. Lenore Schorr said, “We had so much confidence in him from the beginning and couldn’t understand why other people couldn’t see it.”

Today, Basquiat, who died in 1988 at the age of 27, commands extremely high prices at auction. In May 2013, “Dustheads” sold for $48.8 million at Christie’s, setting the record for Basquiat at auction. His work is included in private and public collections throughout the world, including the Broad Art Foundation in California, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Museu d’art Contemporani de Barcelona in Spain, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Acquavella Galleries was founded by Nicholas Acquavella in 1921. The gallery initially specialized in works of the Italian Renaissance, but in 1960, when Acquavella’s son William joined the business, the gallery expanded to major works of the 19th and 20th centuries, including masters of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. The gallery has since expanded and the entire scope of the 20th century is now represented.

“Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing: Works from the Schorr Family Collection” will remain on view at Acquavella Galleries through June 13.

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Monday, 21 October 2013 18:28

Eli and Edythe Broad Awarded Simon Prize

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad were given the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership at the annual meeting of The Philanthropy Roundtable on October 21st in Los Angeles. The prize includes $250,000 for the charity of the recipient’s choice; the Broads will give the funds to the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts in downtown L.A.

The Broads were honored for their extensive philanthropy in the areas of K-12 education reform, scientific and medical research, and the arts. The couple has invested over $3.5 billion in these areas in the past 50 years. Eli Broad said, “Edye and I are honored and humbled to receive this award and we are delighted to give the prize money to the arts high school, which combines academics with the arts to prepare the next generation of Los Angeles artists."

 Eli Broad championed the creation of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s flagship citywide arts high school, the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art and a number of other cultural institutions. The Broad Art Foundation is a lending library of contemporary artworks that have been loaned over 8,000 times to nearly 500 museums and galleries around the globe. The Broads are currently building a contemporary art museum and headquarters for The Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles; the Broad is slated to open in late 2014.

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