Jean-Michel Basquiat: Art and Objecthood
Artbook /D.A.P

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Art and Objecthood

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The first book on Basquiat's ingenious uses of found objects and unconventional materials

 Bringing together a range of unconventional painted supports and found-object sculptures, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Art and Objecthood provides an innovative, in-depth look into the artist's sculptural practice. In addition to painting and drawing on everything within his domestic spaces--refrigerators, chairs, cabinets--Basquiat made use of discarded windows and doors, mirrors, wood boards and subway tiles in his earliest creations. In a 1985 interview with Becky Johnston and Tamra Davis, he explained: "The first paintings I made were on windows I found on the street. And I used the window shape as a frame, and I just put the painting on the glass part and on doors I found on the street."

 Jean-Michel Basquiat: Art and Objecthood borrows its title from the influential 1967 essay by renowned art historian Michael Fried, who critiqued Minimalism for its dogmatic separation between "art" and "object," arguing that its presentation of isolated objects as art was theatrics rather than a true art, which for Fried implied the unity of art and object. Invoking Fried's stance, this book invites viewers to consider the debate on art and objecthood as a lens through which to consider Basquiat's uses of objects. The book also demonstrates the extent to which these uses reveal his dedication to the struggle against social inequality and his profound engagement with the politics of race in the US.

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