Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

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Edited by Dieter Buchhart and Tricia Bloom

Essays by Henry Gates Jr., Dieter Buchhart, Franklin Sirmans, Christopher Stackhouse

With no formal training, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) succeeded in developing a new and expressive style to become one of the most influential artists in the postmodern revival of figurative painting during the 1980s. In a series of notebooks from the early to mid-1980s, Basquiat combined text and images reflecting his engagement with the countercultures of graffiti and hip-hop in New York City, as well as pop culture and world events. Filled with handwritten texts, poems, pictograms, and drawings, these notebooks reveal much about the artist’s creative process and the importance of the written word in his aesthetic. With over 150 notebook pages and numerous drawings and paintings, this important book––the first ever of the rarely seen notebooks––sheds new light on Basquiat’s career and his critical place in contemporary art history.

245 pages

Published 2016