- Translated titleUntitled
- Material3 parts; acrylic and oilstick on canvas
- Dimensions243.8 x 62 cm
- Year of acquisition2001
- Inventory numberUAB 20
- On viewAktuell nicht ausgestellt
More about the artwork
At first glance, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings are reminiscent of graffiti. His pictorial language is restless and sketch-like. This triptych presents us with text fragments, layers of paint, crosshatchings, loosely-drawn forms, bodies, and especially skulls, whose depiction bears witness to Basquiat’s obsessive study of anatomy textbooks. The female body on the left panel was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon” (1907) — an icon of modern art which, in turn, drew upon African art forms. Figures such as Nero, Icarus, Miles Davis, and Marco Polo, whose names populate Basquiat’s paintings, also offer a glimpse into his artistic horizon, which ranges from European art and cultural history to African-American counterculture. Basquiat makes use of these disparate elements in his work, evoking jazz’s strategies of improvisation. He absorbs White cultural history, and thus confidently asserts his own place within it as an artist of color.