Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation Exhibition Catalogue

(1 review) Write a Review
Adding to cart… The item has been added

How hip-hop culture and graffiti electrified the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries in 1980s New York

In the early 1980s, art and writing labeled as graffiti began to  transition from New York City walls and subway trains onto canvas and  into art galleries. Young artists who freely sampled from their urban  experiences and their largely Black, Latinx and immigrant histories  infused the downtown art scene with expressionist, pop and  graffiti-inspired compositions.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88)  became the galvanizing, iconic frontrunner of this transformational and  insurgent movement in contemporary American art, which resulted in an  unprecedented fusion of creative energies that defied longstanding  racial divisions. Writing the Future features Basquiat’s works in  painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music and fashion, alongside works  by his contemporaries—and sometimes collaborators—A-One, ERO, Fab 5  Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones,  Rammellzee and Toxic. Throughout the 1980s, these artists fueled new  directions in fine art, design and music, reshaping the predominantly  white art world and driving the now-global popularity of hip-hop  culture.

Writing the Future, published to accompany a  major exhibition, contextualizes Basquiat’s work in relation to his  peers associated with hip-hop culture. It also marks the first time  Basquiat’s extensive, robust and reflective portraiture of his Black and  Latinx friends and fellow artists has been given prominence in  scholarship on his oeuvre. With contributions from Carlo McCormick, Liz  Munsell, Hua Hsu, J. Faith Almiron and Greg Tate, Writing the Future captures the energy, inventiveness and resistance unleashed when hip-hop hit the city.

Edited by Liz Munsell, Greg Tate. Text by J. Faith Almiron, Dakota DeVos, Hua Hsu, Carlo McCormick.


  • Publisher :  MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
  • Hardcover, 9.5 x 10.75 in. 
  • 200 pgs / 200 color.

1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    Good book

    Posted by Justin on Nov 30th 2020

    Good book that render the paintings from the exhibit well. I bought it solely to review the Basquiat paintings and am happy. Essays are interesting but somewhat fawning.