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An affordable, compact primer on the artist who drastically shifted the course of late 20th-century art

This reader provides a concise introduction to the widely popular yet oft-misunderstood artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Guided by the steady hand of Basquiat scholar Larry Warsh, it is one of the few books of this kind to be directly approved by the artist's estate and family: a notable distinction amid all of the buzz.
Jean-Michel Basquiat Handbook begins with a portrait of the young Basquiat, from his years as a precocious child in Brooklyn, to his rebellious teenagedom, to his meteoric rise in fame, to his tragic early death. The book then discusses the development of his groundbreaking style through the recurrent themes of his practice: urban life, the human figure, music and sports, to name just a few. The backend of the book provides a sampling of sketches from Basquiat's notebooks, a chronology and incisive essays from scholars Henry Geldzahler and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

One of the first African American artists to reach international stature and wealth in the art world, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88) was celebrated for his fusion of multicultural symbols, social commentary and distinctive graphic style. He has been the subject of numerous exhibitions across the globe, and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, among many others.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and holder of the distinguished title of Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of twelve books, including several award-winning works of literary criticism as well as the memoir Colored People; The Future of the Race, co-authored with Cornel West; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and Tradition and the Black Atlantic. Gates has hosted ten PBS television specials, including Looking for Lincoln and the two part series, African American Lives, upon which his book In Search of Our Roots (2009) was based. He is winner of the 2009 Ralph Lowell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Television and the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Non-Fiction.

Henry Geldzahler was a curator of contemporary art in the late 20th century, as well as a modern art historian and art critic. He is best known for his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs.


  • Publisher: No More Rulers
  • Publish Date: March 26, 2024
  • Pages: 162
  • Dimensions: 4.2 X 7.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.6 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Paperback
  • EAN/UPC: 9798988928607
  • BISAC Categories: Individual Artists - Monographs - Techniques - Painting - American - African American
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