Jean-Michel Basquiat - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York; Private collection; Gagosian Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Enrico Navarra, Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1996

  • Literature

    R. Marshall, J.L. Prat, eds., Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 1996, 1st Edition, Vol. I, p.167 (illustrated); R. Marshall, J.L. Prat, eds., Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 1996, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p.203 (illustrated); Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and Taichung Museum, Exhibition Catalogue, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kaohsiung, 1997, p. 59; Gallery Hyundai, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Seoul, 1997, p. 53; Mitsukoshi Museum and M.I.M.O.C.A., Jean-Michel Basquait, Tokyo, 1997, p. 65; Castel Nuovo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Naples, 1999, p. 89; Galerie Enrico Navarra, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 2000, 3rd Edition, Vol. III, p. 188, no. 2 (illustrated); G. Pfeffer-Levy, ed., Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 2000, 3rd Edition, Vol. I, p. 273 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art is often dense with the jagged, glowing blend of language and image which gives one plenty to think about. From his work in the mid-eighties, there is an astounding sense of growth and maturation, a freewheeling physical inventiveness, especially where collage on canvas is concerned, and an agile, curious mind. Basquiat’s rich tapestry of subject matter ranges through the history and culture of the world, of America and of black America, tying things together in fresh ways. In a sense, Basquiat’s best work gives new and particular meaning to the inspiring phrase with which the painter Barnett Newman characterized the emergence of Abstract Expressionism: “We are making it out of ourselves.” The self that Basquiat had to work with provided unusually fertile soil. Whether his eccentric patched –together images are spare and linear or dense with bright paint, he was at his best juggling disparate, often conflicting bits of imagery and information, so that huge chunks of human endeavor effortlessly float through the mind. R. Smith, ‘Basquiat: Man For His Decade’ in New York Times, 23 October, 1992

  • Artist Biography

    Jean-Michel Basquiat

    American • 1960 - 1988

    One of the most famous American artists of all time, Jean-Michel Basquiat first gained notoriety as a subversive graffiti-artist and street poet in the late 1970s. Operating under the pseudonym SAMO, he emblazoned the abandoned walls of the city with his unique blend of enigmatic symbols, icons and aphorisms. A voracious autodidact, by 1980, at 22-years of age, Basquiat began to direct his extraordinary talent towards painting and drawing. His powerful works brilliantly captured the zeitgeist of the 1980s New York underground scene and catapulted Basquiat on a dizzying meteoric ascent to international stardom that would only be put to a halt by his untimely death in 1988.

    Basquiat's iconoclastic oeuvre revolves around the human figure. Exploiting the creative potential of free association and past experience, he created deeply personal, often autobiographical, images by drawing liberally from such disparate fields as urban street culture, music, poetry, Christian iconography, African-American and Aztec cultural histories and a broad range of art historical sources.

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Acrylic, oil-stick, Xerox and paper collage on canvas.
218.4 x 172.7 cm. (86 x 68 in).
Signed, titled and dated ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joy Sept 1984’ on the reverse.

£1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for £972,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm