By Robin Pogrebin
In Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 work “Moses and the Egyptians” he wove in phrases like “staff into serpent trick” and “water into blood.”
The piece, on loan from the Guggenheim Bilbao, will be among the 25 works highlighting Basquiat’s frequent use of language in painting at Nahmad Contemporary from May 2 to June 11.
Curated by Dieter Buchhart, who organized the Brooklyn Museum’s recent show on Basquiat’s notebooks, the exhibition focuses on the artist’s combination of the “cutup” style of the Beat writer William S. Burroughs with the sampling techniques of early rappers.
“What does the word mean in the painting?” Mr. Buchhart said. “Language was like a weapon for Basquiat.”