signed, titled and dated “Jean-Michel Basquiat CATHARSIS 1983” on the reverse
acrylic and oilstick on canvas, in three parts
72 x 93 3/4 in. (182.9 x 238.1 cm)
Executed in 1983
Marsha Fogel, New York
Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York
Phillips de Pury & Co., New York, May 12, 2005, lot 46
Christie’s, New York, November 8, 2011, lot 50
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
New York, Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, Jean-Michel Basquiat, October 21 – November 25, 1989, no. 8, p. 9 (illustrated)
Tony Shafrazi, Jeffrey Deitch and Richard Marshall, eds., Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York, 1999, p. 181 (illustrated)
Richard Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 2000, no. 7, pp. 158-159 (illustrated)
American, 1960 – 1988
One of the most famous American artists of all time, Jean-Michel Basquiat first gained notoriety as a subversive graffiti-artist and street poet in the late 1970s. Operating under the pseudonym SAMO, he emblazoned the abandoned walls of the city with his unique blend of enigmatic symbols, icons and aphorisms. A voracious autodidact, by 1980, at 22-years of age, Basquiat began to direct his extraordinary talent towards painting and drawing. His powerful works brilliantly captured the zeitgeist of the 1980s New York underground scene and catapulted Basquiat on a dizzying meteoric ascent to international stardom that would only be put to a halt by his untimely death in 1988.
Basquiat’s iconoclastic oeuvre revolves around the human figure. Exploiting the creative potential of free association and past experience, he created deeply personal, often autobiographical, images by drawing liberally from such disparate fields as urban street culture, music, poetry, Christian iconography, African-American and Aztec cultural histories and a broad range of art historical sources.