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Jean-Michel Basquiat [Paperback]

Richard Marshall
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1992
This is a survey of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), a key member of a group of New York artists who used the powerful images of graffiti to create a new expressive language. Published to accompany an exhibition held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1992-93, the book contains illustrations reproducing paintings, drawings, collages, silkscreens, and constructions, many previously unpublished. The text includes essays by Dick Hebdige, Klaus Kertess, Richard Marshall, Rene Ricard, Greg Tate and Robert Farris Thompson. They explore Basquiat's artistic contributions from several perspectives.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Whitney Abrams (31 Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874270812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874270815
  • Product Dimensions: 30 x 24.1 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,605,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basquiat the myth or Basquiat the artist? 9 Dec 2010
This book is the catalog for the current show at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which already appeared at the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland. Basically,it shows every major work the artist painted, with a heavy emphasis on the early years (1981-1982) considered by many pundits (and also by the art market...)to be his most creative.

The text is a compendium of what is already known about Basquiat, with an essay that tries to decipher the artist's personality and another focusing on his role in the NYC art scene of the 1980's. Also, a rather enlightening interview held in 1985 (in which we learn that Basquiat was a Picasso and Warhol collector) gives some insight on what the artist thought of his art. Here is a quotation from that interview: "I think I have to learn more not to work around what's around me and just work with what I think, I guess...".

Now, the most interesting part of the book, in my opinion, is art historian Robert Storr's essay in which he tries to debunk the pervading and invasive myth shrouding the artist since his untimely death at the age of 28. Basquiat suffers of the same problem as the Mona Lisa: how is it possible to look at one of his painting merely as a work of art, forgetting the legend and the tons of ink that have been written about the artist? Storr's essay sheds new light on the work, replacing it in the art history of the 1980's, and this is a laudable endeavour.

As far as the illustrations of the works are concerned, they are good without being exceptional: a demanding reader might bemoan the absence of magnified details, especially when one thinks of Basquiat not only as a colorist, but also as a master of painterliness...
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12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Picasso 13 April 1999
By A Customer
Basquiat is definitely the last significant painter of the century; 10 years after his death his work is close to todays reality. It's a visionnaire kind of work, full of spirituality; even for those who do not understand Basquiat's work, this book is a way of looking into spiritual art.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basquiat wasn't afraid to be his own man 16 Jun 1999
By Thomas Smith - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great book with many of Basquiat's paintings and drawings. It also has various essays by art critics and people who knew him. I suppose the reviewers who slammed Basquiat also think anybody could knock over a couple of paint buckets and be Jackson Pollock. The genius of Basquit in my mind is his ability to create truly beautiful paintings while painting in a seemingly uncontrolled, primitive (I hate that word) fashion. The way he layered colors, and added details is incredible. My favorite is "Untitled (Skull)" 1981. Here is a brilliant example of how Basquiat combines dissarray, ugliness, harmony, and beauty all into the same striking painting. I know Basquiat idolized Hendrix and ultimately went out much like he did, unable to cope with his talent and the attention it brought. To me Basquiat's painting very much mirrors Hendrix's musical talents. They both created wild, noisy, seemingly unharnessed, unpolished art. But to the careful, sensitive observer the true beauty and magic is revealed.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Catalogue 16 Oct 2001
By Daniel Garcia - Published on Amazon.com
This is by far the best catalogue of Basquiat's work as it was shown at the Whitney. By far, this book superseed others as it relates to quality and quantity of plates. Strongly recomend.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAST FORGET TUPA KNOWS 5 Sep 2003
By William Cordova - Published on Amazon.com
I am not convinced that this is the BEST Jean Michel Basquiat retrospective catalogue to date...but the work selected for this publication is certainly consistently better than most others published before or after this one. Basquiats peak of productivity was from1981-83 and much of that work is catalogued here..But the dissapointment is that many of his last works (circa 1988) will not be found here....but in the more extensive Basquiat catalogue published by the Tony Shafrazi Gallery.
There are also a few images here that will make you wonder why they were selected and some of the text seems to over emphesize
the fact that Basquiat died of a DRUG OVERDOSE.
You can skip the text or consider it ....it's the work that counts in the end!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much to Express 6 Jan 2013
By Kunoichi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Basquiat had so much to express and we can see so many contemporary art movements in his energetic work: Minimalism, Conceptualism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, street art, African art. He was a vital artist of the New York whirlwind Art scene of the 1970's and 80's and I think he and his work deserve more attention and understanding. Books like this one with full-page color plates of his work, and the interspersed essays go a long way to correct that.
21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly informative catalog of some of Basquiat's work 19 Sep 1999
By Gara Gillentine - Published on Amazon.com
After discovering Basquiat a year ago through a black art history survery class I took, I was simply blown away by his work. As a result, I did a graduate paper on him. Anyone who has any knowledge of black art with respect to racism and the use of symblols in art which relate to one's culture, oppression, genocide, etc. could surely see the important messages floating throughout Basquiat's work. If everyone painted like the "master's"--oh what a boring world and perception of life that would be. If you love Basquiat like I do, read the biography by Hoban, watch the film "Basquiat" starring Jeffrey Wright as Jean Michel--who looks sooo much like him, and listen to the sound track afterwards. Very moving stuff!
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