The show will display rarely seen documents of self-taught, Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who took the world by storm by 1982.
Before his tragic death at the height of his career in 1987, he was featured in a cover story for The New York Times Magazine, an unprecedented fete for a Black artist, and for one so young.
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages numerous notebooks filled with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. It also includes related works on paper and large-scale paintings.
From the museum:
“Created between 1980 and 1987, the notebooks demonstrate how Basquiat began to develop the artistic strategies that would inform his large-scale works. He combined text and images in a raw expressionist style to explore culture and society through historical and popular themes. Early sketches of subjects that recur in later works, such as tepees, skeletal faces and crowns, appear in the earliest notebooks from 1980-81. The notebook writings range from extended narrative poems and wordplay to observations of New York’s street life, along with lists of celebrities and incidental notes from the artist’s personal life. As in his paintings, fragments of found texts appear throughout the notebooks, incorporating street signage, news stories, and references from literature and the Old Testament. Other pages reflect Basquiat’s overriding interest in highlighting racial discrimination and acknowledging the important contributions of African Americans and other people of color, as well as his interests in music, world history and popular culture.”
Organized by Dieter Buchhart, Guest Curator, and Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Associate Curator of Exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum, the event will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Exhibit Dates: February 28-May 29, 2016
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm
Friday: 10 am – 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 12 noon – 5 pm
High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree Street
N.E. Atlanta, GA 30309