the artist

and his

new york scene

02 feb t0
02 jun 2019


SCHUNCK is proud to present Basquiat – the artist and his New York scene. The European premiere of the early work and life of visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries. The exhibition is set to take place from February 2, 2019 to June 2, 2019 in Heerlen.



Come and meet this iconic painter through his work in his formative years. In the intimate setting of the apartment that he shared with former girlfriend Alexis Adler (1979).


SCHUNCK brings the exhibition Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver to the European continent for the first time. Furthermore SCHUNCK invites you to the vibrant and raw New York art scene in which Basquiat developed in no time from a street-artist to the iconic artist we know him to be.
We present the work he made during these years of development: from the poetic graffiti texts to the almost immediately coveted canvasses of which an early selection can be seen in the exhibition. We meet his NY scene trough the exhibition that ensured Basquiats breakthrough; the big and legendary Times Square Show (1980). In this co-created Times Square Show Basquiat exhibited together with others like Keith Haring, Nan Goldin and Jenny Holzer.  SCHUNCK shows 50 original works from the exhibition. Finally, the SCHUCNK exhibition highlights a special piece of Dutch art history by addressing the very fast Dutch reception of Basquiat and his scene.

Basquiat before Basquiat

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Times Square Show

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SAMO (c)

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The Artist in His Studio

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Boom for real

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By | Nieuws, Press releases

More than 25,000 visitors for Basquiat in Heerlen

Heerlen 04-06-2019

The Basquiat exhibition produced the highest number of visitors since the existence of SCHUNCK as a cultural institution. More than half of the visitors to the exhibition came from outside the region. Large numbers of young museum visitors, school groups and visitors from the Euregio found their way to the museum in Heerlen.

Kor Bonnema, director of the SCHUNCK foundation proclaims proudly: “The team has set up a huge project. They presented an exhibition of which the (inter)national press wondered how our museum managed to do so. We once again brought Heerlen to an international stage.”

The large number of requests for school visits was striking – the largest number since the foundation of SCHUNCK. SCHUNCK processed applications for more than 120 school visits. That brought almost 2500 students to the museum. The public program was good for around one fifth of the visitors, mostly from the region. Special collaborations such as that with 100% Heerlen, could count on much media attention. The biggest crowd generators were the Buurtbattles, a collaboration with Job Vermeesch of HFC dance studio, the final exam exhibition of the Bernardinus College, the presentation at Tefaf and the Basquiat Cafés in the New Nor pop venue.

The attention for the project was historically high; no SCHUNCK initiative has been so widely presented in the press in the past – regionally, nationally and internationally. In the art and culture world, people also praised the Basquiat exhibition in Heerlen. More than 140 publications and broadcasts appeared in 12 different countries on 4 continents. The project thus underlines the importance of presenting large and sensational exhibition projects periodically. Partly thanks to the substantive connection between Basquiat and the city of Heerlen, the project brought pride and put Heerlen on the map. Jordy Clemens, Alderman for Culture: “This story about a world-class artist attracted thousands of people to our city and inspired young Heerlen artists. SCHUNCK impressively brought to life the New York years of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the heart of our city. “

Basquiat – the artist and his New York scene 2 Feb – 2 June 2019
Using over 300 works of art, the exhibition told the story of the creation of a young, unknown Basquiat to a world-renowned artist in the bustling New York art scene of the early 1980s. The presentation included the Basquiat Before Basquiat exhibition: East 12th Street 1979-1980, compiled by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

The SCHUNCK Glaspaleis on the Bongerd in Heerlen is a cultural institution with a museum for modern and contemporary art, an architecture institute, a library and a music and dance school. SCHUNCK has several branches in the neighborhoods of Heerlen. The Glass Palace is on the list of 1,000 most important buildings of the 20th century of the International Union of Architects and is mentioned in the same breath as the most important monuments of New Building, such as the Rietveld Schröder House and the Van Nelle Factory.

SCHUNCK – Bongerd 18, 6411 JM Heerlen
+31 (0) 45 577 22 00


_________________ Note for editors_________________________

For more information and requesting interviews:
Prisca Niël, senior marketing communication consultant SCHUNCK,
+31 (0) 45 577 22 03 / [email protected]

For visual material: Downloadable until 10 June 2019
More HR photo material:


By | Nieuws
At the end of 1979, Basquiat moves into an apartment on 527 East Twelfth Street with his girlfriend Alexis Adler, a biology student. It is small and noisy, the metro line rattles right past the building. Basquiat drags furniture, old TVs, clothing and other scraps that he finds six stairs up. An elevator is absent. He processes them into sculptures and collages, paints them with paint that he receives from friends. If nothing can be painted, he continues on the oven, the bathroom door, the bedroom wall, even the floor in the hallway.
Basquiat is a hyperactive sponge. He studies Picasso’s reproductions but also cartoons and Adler’s chemistry books. He plays the clarinet and designs costumes. The art that it yields has not yet solidified in a specific form. He makes many performances that are photographed by Adler. He is sitting on his own with an American football helmet in front of an open fridge with a TV that shows images of former President Eisenhower: a spell of the Cold War that in those days threatens to derail in a Third World War. The small apartment in the East Village is a safe hiding place, a meeting place for kindred spirits and a pressure cooker for Basquiat’s talent. Here he writes for the first time on a door “famous negro athletes”, a phrase that runs through his later work as a common thread. But he also paints the three-pointed crown, the heart from which a cross grows, and the simplified car between brackets, which grow into iconic symbols in Basquiat’s imagery.

Free cup of coffee to the Mijnmuseum with your Basquiat ticket

By | Nieuws


Free entrance to the Mining Museum with your Basquiat Ticket and get treated to a free cup of coffee!

An extensive collection of mine items can be admired in the Dutch Mining Museum. You can also take part in guided tours where enthusiastic volunteers take you to the rich mining past of Heerlen and the (former) Mijnstreek. The Dutch Mining Museum is housed in the shaft building of shaft 2 of the former Oranje-Nassau I mine, one of the most striking buildings in Heerlen.

The Dutch Mining Museum can be reached on foot within 15 minutes from SCHUNCK


  • You will receive a free cup of coffee on presentation of your Basquiat ticket.
  • The promotion applies per person per ticket.
  • The promotion is valid until 2 June 2019.
  • This promotion can only be used during the regular opening hours of the Dutch Mining Museum.
    Look for the opening times on

Basquiat + Food + Music

By | Nieuws

SUBSCRIBE! For another great initiative from the city.

On Easter Monday, April 22 in Betahuis in Heerlen, you can have a nice vegetable lunch and a inspiring “listen”.

Aline Ploeg, graphic design and vegan inspirator serves a NY-inspired lunch while sociologist Theo Ploeg and pop connoisseur and music lover Marco Smeets take you into the musical story of a city in decline.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s story is that of New York in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Underground and mainstream merged. Musicians, artists, bon vivants, low-lifes and other strange birds went to the almost deflated Manhattan. A creative scene emerged that proved to be an excellent musical breeding ground. Artists such as Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen, Blondie and Ramones are taking the first steps in their career. The no-nonsense musical genre no wave is coming up and will ultimately affect many pop musicians.

Practical information
The walk-in is from 12.30 pm We start at 1 pm.
There is room for 20 people.
The costs are €15,- per person for lunch and lecture.
Prior registration is required. You can do this by sending an email to [email protected]

Tip: you can join the free* tour of the Basquiat exhibition in SCHUNCK at 11:30 am prior to this lunch and lecture. If you want to be sure of your place during this tour, let us know when you register.
Be on time because full = full.
* the tour is free upon presentation of a valid ticket for the Basquiat exhibition. Starting point is located in the central hall of SCHUNCK

The documentary ‘BOOM FOR REAL, The late teenage years of Jean-Michel Basquiat’ examines the period which the exhibition addresses. View the trailer below.

Educational program


Jean-Michel Basquiat was a special artist, an autodidact who learned through looking. During the exhibition we will take a look at his works of art, talk about it and think about it with pupils of different ages and all levels.Pupils go to work themselves with materials that Basquiat used and things that inspired him.


Read more about the educational program.



Buy your tickets here

The button below will guide you to the purchase of an admission ticket for the museum. Would you like to combine your museum visit with a guided tour or an arrangement? View the possibilities for combination visits with a guided tour or the accommodation arrangements.