Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art
Before his death at the age of twenty-seven, Jean-Michel Basquiat completed nearly 2,000 works. These unique compositions—collages of text and gestural painting across a variety of media—quickly made Basquiat one of the most important and widely known artists of the 1980s. Reading Basquiat provides a new approach to understanding the range and impact of this artist’s practice, as well as its complex relationship to several key artistic and ideological debates of the late twentieth century, including the instability of identity, the role of appropriation, and the boundaries of expressionism. Jordana Moore Saggese argues that Basquiat, once known as “the black Picasso,” probes not only the boundaries of blackness but also the boundaries of American art. Weaving together the artist’s interests in painting, writing, and music, this groundbreaking book expands the parameters of aesthetic discourse to consider the parallels Basquiat found among these disciplines in his exploration of the production of meaning. Most important, Reading Basquiat traces the ways in which Basquiat constructed large parts of his identity—as a black man, as a musician, as a painter, and as a writer—via the manipulation of texts in his own library.
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Activating Heaven aesthetic African American artists African diaspora Andy Warhol appears appropriation argued art history art world Basquiat’s interest Basquiat’s paintings Beat bebop black artists Black Picasso Burroughs Burroughs’s canvas catalog chapter Charlie Parker collage composition concept connection contemporary copy Creativity Found critics culture Cy Twombly Deitch essay »sý-ElťgbŠra European example exhibition expressionism Fab 5 Freddy figure Gallery graffiti Gysin Haitian hip-hop historian Ibid identity improvisation included interview Jack Kerouac jazz Jean-Michel Basquiat Julian Schnabel Koons Language of expressionism Leonardo Ligon Mary Boone Michael Holman modern modernist Mona Lisa Museum of Art musicians Negro NOTES TO PAGES original Úržsŗ painter paintings and drawings panel photographic phrase plate portrait Rauschenberg references relationship reproduced Richard Marshall Robert Farris Thompson Romare Bearden SanterŪa scholars signifier spontaneity style Suzanne Mallouk symbols Tamra Davis technique tion tradition University Press Untitled Vodou Whitney Museum words writing Yoruba