IN A NUTSHELL Look closely at the complex signs and scribbles of Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose paintings today retain the same freshness and validity as in the New York of the 1980s. This monograph in size XXL brings together exquisite reproductions of the artist’s most outstanding works, accompanied by texts by the editor Hans Werner Holzwarth and Eleanor Nairne, curator and art historian. They present an artist whose legend is still alive, a symbol of New York of the eighties. Hans Werner Holzwarth, Eleanor Nairne Hardcover, 11.4 x 15.6 in., 500 pages
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The legend of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) remains intact. Symbol of the New York of the eighties, the artist began his career in the late 1970s under the pseudonym SAMO filling the walls of the city with graffiti that contained scathing messages and fragments of poems. He was part of a scene underground booming formed by all kinds of artists who devoted themselves to the arts, the Language Company, the hip-hop, the post-punk and film amateur. Basquiat, a painter with a powerful personal voice, soon triumphed in more conventional environments and exhibited in galleries around the world.
The expressive style of Basquiat was based on rudimentary figures to which he added words and phrases. His work inspired a whole cast of celebrities from jazz, boxing and basketball with esoteric references and street life. When asked about the main theme of his work, Basquiat replied: “Royalty, heroism and the streets.” In 1983 he began collaborating with the most famous star in the art world, Andy Warhol , and in 1985 he was on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. When Basquiat died at the age of 27, he had already become one of the most successful artists of his time.
This book offers an unprecedented approach to Basquiat’s art through impeccable reproductions of his most outstanding paintings, drawings and sketches. Thanks to its large-scale format, you can admire the complex signs and cryptic scribbles of the artist and deepen your world through an introduction by the editor Hans Werner Holzwarth and an essay on its themes and creative evolution signed by the conservative and art historian Eleanor Nairne Organized for years and profusely illustrated, the chapters cover the life of Basquiat with quotes from the artist himself and reviews that provide the reader with both a personal perspective and historical context.
About the editor
Hans Werner Holzwarth is a book designer and publisher established in Berlin and with numerous publications, mainly on contemporary art and photography. He has edited for TASCHEN, among other titles, J eff Koons, Christopher Wool, Albert Oehlen , Neo Rauch , Ai Weiwei and David Hockney. A Bigger Book.
About the Author
Eleanor Nairne is curator of art at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. He has worked in a series of critically acclaimed exhibitions and publications, such as Basquiat: Boom for Real (2017) and Imran Qureshi: Where the Shadows are So Deep (2016). Before the Barbican, she was curator of the Artangel collection in the Tate. She is a regular catalog essayist, published in Frieze magazineand was a resident writer on the Jerwood Visual Arts program.
Buy | Jean-Michel Basquiat
Hans Werner Holzwarth , Eleanor Nairne
Hardcover, 11.4 x 15.6 in., 500 pages