A thematic presentation of the groundbreaking and provocative art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, this volume offers a new appreciation of his tragic but highly influential career. From his early years spray painting the walls of lower Manhattan to his first solo show in 1982 and his untimely death at the age of 27 in 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat has become a symbol of the 1980s New York art scene. Now, more than a quarter-century since his death, this book considers Basquiat’s works in light of their transformative power. Exquisitely reproduced full-page color illustrations of his paintings cover the full thematic range of Basquiat’s work. From the autobiographical elements of Untitled (1981) and the powerful critique of racial justice that is Irony of a Negro Policeman to an exploration of black heroes, Untitled (1982) and the tongue-in-cheek social commentary of A Panel of Experts, Basquiat’s limitless palette of observation, criticism, and cultural references endows his art with lasting and provocative power. Author Dieter Buchhart explores how Basquiat’s success paved the way for an entire generation of black artists and how street culture has spread into popular culture. Texts by curators, art dealers, and cultural critics discuss the significance of Basquiat’s oeuvre and show how his approach and subject matter continue to influence artists around the world.
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Dieter Buchhart is a critic, art historian, and curator based in Vienna. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he directs the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Tricia Laughlin Bloom is associate curator of exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Franklin Sirmans is department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Christopher Stackhouse is a writer and visual artist based in Brooklyn.Review:
"The 150 color illustrations of this book showcase [Basquiat's] expansive and groundbreaking oeuvre."
—The Boston Globe
"Now's the Time is a stunning collection that demonstrates the power and depth of Basquiat's work and why it will continue to endure."
—The Boston Globe
"An expansive survey produced in conjunction with the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the first major retrospective of Basquiat’s work in Canada. . . . The five essays that conclude the volume are bookended by striking photographic portraits of the artist. . . . This collection illustrates how the work retains a sense of the ‘now,’ their relevance deriving not only from the subject matter but also from the urgency contained within Basquiat’s visual aesthetic."
—The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"This book explores Basquiat's oeuvre in light of its transformative power. . . and reflects on how his approaches and ideals continue to influence artists today."
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