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Painting is dead. Long live painting!

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Jean-Michel Basquiat

Ohne Titel

  • Translated titleUntitled
  • Year1983
  • Material3 parts; acrylic and oilstick on canvas
  • Dimensions243.8 x 62 cm
  • Year of acquisition2001
  • Inventory numberUAB 20
  • On viewGround floor 0.4

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.

Further collection artworks

Andy WarholLadies and Gentlemen, 1975UAB 518
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975
Louise Lawler *1947No Drones (adjusted to fit)UAB 915Crazy, 2011VerrücktUAB 916
Louise Lawler Crazy, 2011
Amy Sillman Nose Job, 2014–2015UAB 922
Amy Sillman Nose Job, 2014-2015
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XI: Party on Twin Beds, 2006UAB 634 11 I 13
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XI: Party on Twin Beds, 2006
Christopher Wool *1955Untitled, 1991UAB617
Christopher Wool Untitled, 1991
Cy Twombly Untitled (Greetings from Gorgo), 1965UAB 490
Cy Twombly Untitled (Greetings from Gorgo), 1965