Library: Jean-Michel Basquiat

New York April 15th, 2019

This library selection features the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose exhibition was on view at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center in New York, NY.   Please contact to schedule a time to visit The Brant Foundation Library.

About The Brant Foundation Library

The Brant Foundation’s library program was established in 2009 to facilitate the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art and to advance our mission of promoting arts education. As both a museum and art study center, the Foundation’s library serves as a crucial resource for students, scholars, and educators by providing access to a unique collection of hard-to-find materials. After noticing the difficulties of obtaining contemporary art publications, typically as a result of rarity or expense, the Foundation was inspired to make efforts to broaden their holdings and increase accessibility to the public.

By reaching out to the surrounding arts community for help, the Foundation has accumulated an actively growing, rich collection of contemporary art books. With the contributions from the many organizations and institutions that share our vision, the public gains access to a wider range of materials used for the scholarly study and examination of contemporary art. Housing over 1,000 volumes – from exhibition catalogs and artist monographs to art criticism texts and periodicals – the library reflects the Foundation’s collection and admiration of contemporary art. Because of the rarity and value of the materials, our library is non-circulating, but we welcome and encourage the public to make use of the study center during operating hours. Please contact to make an appointment to visit The Brant Foundation’s library.

Widow Basquiat: A Love Story

New York City in the 1980s was a mesmerizing, wild place. A hotbed for hip hop, underground culture, and unmatched creative energy, it spawned some of the most significant art of the 20th century. It was where Jean-Michel Basquiat became an avant-garde street artist and painter, swiftly achieving worldwide fame. During the years before his death at the age of 27, he shared his life with his lover and muse, Suzanne Mallouk.

A runaway from an unhappy home in Canada, Suzanne first met Jean-Michel in a bar on the Lower East Side in 1980. Thus began a tumultuous and passionate relationship that deeply influenced one of the most exceptional artists of our time.

In emotionally resonant prose, award-winning author Jennifer Clement tells the story of the passion that swept Suzanne and Jean-Michel into a short-lived, unforgettable affair. A poetic interpretation like no other, Widow Basquiat is an expression of the unrelenting power of addiction, obsession and love.

Basquiat: Boom for Real

Focusing on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s extraordinary breadth of influences, from graffiti to bebop jazz to Hollywood cinema, this exciting new survey charts his ground-breaking career. Basquiat first came to prominence when he collaborated with Al Diaz to spray-paint enigmatic statements under the pseudonym SAMO©. He went on to work on collages, Xerox art, postcards, performances, and music before establishing his reputation as one of the most important painters of his generation. Accompanying a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery, this book opens with introductory essays from the curators, which place his practice in a wider art historical context and look at his career through the lens of performance. Six thematic chapters offer new research, with essays from poet Christian Campbell on SAMO©; curator Carlo McCormick on New York / New Wave; writer Glenn O’Brien on the downtown scene; academic Jordana Moore Saggese on Basquiat’s relationship to film and television; and music scholar Francesco Martinelli on Basquiat’s obsession with jazz. This insightful new survey also features extended captions, rare archival material, and extensive photography, demonstrating how Basquiat’s legacy remains more powerful and relevant than ever today.

Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World

Unprecedented in scope, this beautiful book offers an authoritative examination of the modern history of the Caribbean through its artistic culture. Featuring 500 color illustrations of artworks from the late 18th through the 21st century, the book explores modern and contemporary art, ranging from the Haitian revolution to the present. Acknowledging both the individuality of each island, the richness of the coastal regions, and the reach of the Diaspora, Caribbean looks at the vital visual and cultural links that exist among these diverse constituencies. The authors examine how the Caribbean has been imagined and pictured, and the role of art in the development of national identity. Essays by leading scholars cover such topics as the interconnections between Caribbean artistic production to its colonial contexts; between various generations of artists; and between the so-called high and low arts and religion, music, and carnival celebrations. Primary source documents crucial to understanding the region provide an important complement. — Publisher description.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's The Time

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.

Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art

Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was the Jimi Hendrix of the art world: in less than a decade he went from being a teenage graffiti writer to an international art star; he was dead of a drug overdose at age twenty-seven. Phoebe Hoban’s Basquiat, the first biography of this charismatic figure, charts the trajectory from the artist’s troubled childhood to his volatile passage through the white art world of dealers and nouveau-riche collectors, chronicling the meteoric success and overnight burnout that made him an instant art-world myth.

As much the portrait of an era as the portrait of an artist, Basquiat is an incisive expose of the eighties art market that paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the graffiti movement, the East Village art scene, and the out-of-control auction houses. Ten years after the artist’s death, Basquiat resurrects both the painter and his time.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1981: The Studio of the Street

In 1981 Jean-Michel Basquiat made the momentous transition from the street to the studio. He had attracted considerable attention with his Times Square Show the summer before, and reinforced that nascent notoriety with a wall of phenomenal works in Diego Cortez’s New York/New Wave at P.S. 1, which opened the following winter. A few months later, the dealer Annina Nosei offered Basquiat an independent space in which to prepare work for her September group show, Public Address. He was only 20. Between the world of spray-painted poetry and what critic Peter Schjeldahl called “New York big-painting aesthetics” lies a fantastic coming-of-age: Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1981: The Studio of the Street includes paintings and drawings on everything from note cards to sheet metal to a leather jacket and conventional canvas. In them, as throughout his career, Basquiat married an exuberant spontaneity and art-brut sensibility with a firm command of not only art materials but art history. He would go on to define the 80s Neo-Expressionist idiom, and to remain its most compelling representative. The Studio of the Street examines this charged point of contact in works that show the artist’s progression from text to text-and-image, from found materials to traditional canvasses, and from pure drawing to his uniquely evocative hybrid of drawing and painting.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Featuring foldouts, candid photographs, and full-page color installation shots, this beautiful new book celebrates the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat over his brief but meteoric career. Dozens of historical photographs, both black-and-white and color, connect the text with the close to sixty color plates, providing invaluable insight into the life and work of this seminal artist. Art historian Robert Farris Thompson delivers a detailed analysis of some of Basquiat’s most iconic paintings, situating them within the artist’s own oeuvre, as well as the larger landscape of twentieth-century art. Rounding out this stunning volume, the late Rene Ricard provides a rare but accurate glimpse into the private world of Basquiat, recounting their sometimes fraught friendship, from their first meeting in 1981 to Basquiat’s death in 1988.


“Born in Brooklyn in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat lived to the age of only twenty-seven. His meteoric career as an artist had lasted no more than eight years. The one-time teenage runaway and high-school dropout was first included in a group exhibition in 1980, and almost immediately knew considerable success, enjoying his first solo exhibition just two years later. Basquiat quickly became a notable figure on the international art scene, mixing with dealers and artists. Among these was Andy Warhol, with whom he established a close working relationship.” “Borrowing from graffiti and street imagery, cartoons, mythology and religious symbolism, Basquiat’s drawings and paintings explore issues of race and identity, providing social commentary that is both shrewdly observed and biting. Characterized by their intensely personal nature and the raw, almost aggressive handling of paint, these works have an enduring power to move and to confound.” “Viewing the heady world of the 1980s art scene from the beginning of a new century, we are able to look at Basquiat’s achievements with increasing objectivity. Rather than explore his persona, this book aims to demonstrate the lasting quality of Basquiat’s work itself, as well as its uniqueness within modern art. It strives not only to reevaluate his principal works, but also to explain Basquiat’s continuing interest as a major painter.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat

The exhibition will host Jean-Michel Basquiat, a black Picasso of American art in the 21st century, on February 14 at K2 and K3. do. Having finished his drama-like life at the age of 27 in August 1988, Basquiat is known as a representative writer of New Expressionism and New Conceptual Paintings in American art through his short but intense 8-year career. In 2006, the second solo exhibition of the International Gallery reflects the social phenomenon of the era of cultural revival in American pop art in the 1980s. His poetic and symbolic phrases for cartoons, anatomy, graffiti, and racism, especially his heroic black icons (such as jazz musician Charlie Parker and baseball player Hank Aaron, who succeeded in American society at the time as blacks) It contains the contents. Basquiat, who stood at the stardom of the New York art world in the 1980s at the age of the terms, was also featured with contemporary painting masters (Picasso, Jean du Buffet, Cythomble, and Robert Laußenberg) The composition and combination of the two were highly evaluated among the major critics and galleries of New York art at that time. In particular, the images of various anatomical images made up of this exhibition were inspired by the ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ book, which was presented by the mother at the time of the seven-year-old traffic accident, Basquiat’s unique work language has become the basis of his work.


New York, late 1970s: The city is the world capital of art and it will find a new king. it all begins with a young artist, who covers the walls with his enigmatic graffiti. in a few years, he will be recognized as one of the greatest painters of his time. his name is Jean-Michel Basquiat, and here is his story …

(Translated from French)

Jean-Michel Basquiat

The exhibition covers the painter’s whole career, from 1980 to 1988, focusing on 120 defining works. With the Heads from 1981-1982, gathered for the first time here, and the presentation of several collaborations between Basquiat and Warhol, the exhibition includes works previously unseen in Europe, essential works such as Obnoxious Liberals (1982), In Italian (1983), and Riding with Death (1988), as well as paintings which have rarely been seen since their first presentations during the artist’s lifetime, such as Offensive Orange (1982), Untitled (Boxer) (1982), and Untitled (Yellow Tar and Feathers) (1982).

At a young age, Jean-Michel Basquiat left school and made his first studio in the streets of New York. Very quickly, his painting achieved great success, which the artist both sought out and felt subjected to. His work refers back to the eruption of modernity, that of the expressionists, but his filiations are numerous. The acuteness of his gaze, his visits to museums, and the reading of a number of books gave him a real sense of culture. Yet his gaze was directed: the absence of black artists being painfully evident, the artist imposed the need to depict African American culture and revolts in equal measure in his work. Basquiat’s death in 1988 interrupted a very prolific body of work, carried out in under a decade, with over one thousand paintings and even more drawings.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings and Drawings, 1980-1988

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition of a selection of important works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Born in 1960, Basquiat moved from his father’s home to a life on the street at the age of eighteen. His early works, moving from public graffiti to oil on canvas, include painterly gestures with symbols such as automobiles, policemen, children’s sidewalk games and buildings—all images reflective of his street environment. He also expressed an obsession with death by consistently depicting skeletal figures and mask-like faces. Along with the famed crowns and lettering, all of these symbols appear throughout his brief but highly productive career. Upon reflection, the work reveals an artistic statement that is cohesive and strong in expressing issues surrounding his tragically short life.

Basquiat first exhibited in Los Angeles at the Gagosian Gallery in 1982. He liked Los Angeles and was given a friendly reception by local collectors, prompting him to set up a studio in Venice Beach in 1983. His second L.A. show in 1984, and what would be his last exhibition on the West Coast, in 1986, were both at Gagosian Gallery as well. This 1998 showing marks the ten year anniversary of his death.

The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Art dealer, publisher, curator and art historian, Fred Hoffman worked closely with Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1982-1984. Fred Hoffman has dedicated the last four years to the realization of The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This major undertaking represents the first full-scale, single-author study of Basquiat’s art. The book focuses on all major themes and subjects of both paintings and works on paper. Having been intimately familiar with Basquiat’s work for over 35 years, Fred Hoffman has now undertaken in-depth analysis and interpretation of over 150 works by the artist. The author brings to light many historical and cultural sources and traditions informing Basquiat’s work; as well as the artist’s relationship to important modernist painters including Picasso, Matisse, De Kooning, Rauschenberg and Warhol. This book introduces significant new information on Basquiat’s life and art. For the first time, the author shares many previously unknown facts and stories about the artist.