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The Notebooks

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A facsimile edition of the artist's fascinating working notebooks

Brooklyn-born  Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88) was one of the most important artists of  the 1980s. A key figure in the New York art scene, he inventively  explored the interplay between words and images throughout his career,  first as a member of SAMO, a graffiti group active on the Lower East  Side in the late 1970s, and then as a painter acclaimed for his  unmistakable Neoexpressionist style. From 1980 to 1987, he filled  numerous working notebooks with drawings and handwritten texts. This  facsimile edition reproduces the pages of eight of these fascinating and  rarely seen notebooks for the first time.

The notebooks are  filled with images and words that recur in Basquiat's paintings and  other works. Iconic drawings and pictograms of crowns, teepees, and  hatch-marked hearts share space with handwritten texts, including notes,  observations, and poems that often touch on culture, race, class, and  life in New York. Like his other work, the notebooks vividly demonstrate  Basquiat’s deep interests in comic, street, and pop art, hip-hop,  politics, and the ephemera of urban life. They also provide an intimate  look at the working process of one of the most creative forces in  contemporary American art.


  • Hardcover :  304 pages 
  • Product Dimensions :  7.6 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches 
  • Publisher :  Princeton University Press; Illustrated Edition (May 26, 2015)