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Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)


Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
signed, titled and dated '"GLENN" Jean-Michel Basquiat 85' on the reverse
acrylic, oilstick and xerox collage on canvas
100 x 114in. (254 x 289.5cm.)
Mary Boone Gallery, New York
Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
R. Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York 1992, p. 198 (illustrated)
Art Knowledge, Jean-Michel Basquiat The Notebooks, New York 1993, p. 21 (illustrated)
R. Marshall, E. Navarra and J. L. Prat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris 1996, vol. 1, p. 361 (illustrated)
T. Shafrazi, Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York 1999, p. 237 (illustrated)

Lot Essay

Out of the body of work Jean-Michel Basquiat created in his short but prolific career, Glenn is the strongest example in which the human head dominates the canvas. Central to Basquiat's work is the human form itself. Typically the figure is illustrated on a smaller scale, yet in Glenn the head looms as a powerful presence. The physicality and scale of the head in Glenn is balanced by the lines that project from the open mouth and the movement and density of the other images. Basquiat fuses poetry in the visual form by illustrating shadows, signs, symbols, words and color with a deliberate sense of composition.

Basquiat's love of jazz music transforms this painting into a complex interplay of rich surface and dense of imagery. This creates a rhythmic and dynamic visual beat, as the viewer's eye dances across the canvas. Glenn fully embraces Basquiat's signature style with an incredible amount of energy.

'Jean-Michel lived a short life, but he left us with a lot of memorable work, an astonishing amount given the number of his working years. The ancient Greeks believed that lives were not tragically short or satisfyingly long; rather, they thought, each life is lived to its own termination, and should be valued in its own terms. One might think of him as a warrior who fell too soon in a battle not of his making."

--Henry Geldzahler

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