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© Jean-Michel Basquiat / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

East Village Art

From George Condo to Kiki Smith, many of today’s leading artists launched their careers from the East Village art scene of the 1980s. Drawn to cheap rents in New York City’s East Village, artists from nearly every discipline flocked to the downtown neighborhood, transforming the blocks between Second Avenue and Avenue B into the creative epicenter of the city. In less than a decade, the East Village artists launched numerous art movements united by a sense of punk rock rebellion, but radically diverse in styles, mediums, and aesthetics. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf brought street art into the gallery space; Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, and Richard Prince of The Pictures Generation tackled images from mass media; Julian Schnabel, Eric Fischl, and Elizabeth Murray of Neo-Expressionism provided a new take on gestural figuration; while Jeff Koons, Peter Halley, and Jenny Holzer of Neo-Geo invented new forms of conceptual, geometric abstraction. Below, discover a curated selection of works by these artists and more, featuring pioneering works from the 1980s, as well as their more recent styles.

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