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A New York Times Notable Book: This national bestseller is a vivid biography of the meteoric rise and tragic death of art star Jean-Michel Basquiat Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was the Jimi Hendrix of the art world. In less than a decade, he went from being a teenage graffiti artist to an international art star; he was dead of a drug overdose at age twenty-seven. Basquiat’s brief career spanned the giddy 1980s art boom and epitomized its outrageous excess. A legend in his own lifetime, Basquiat was a fixture of the downtown scene, a wild nexus of music, fashion, art, and drugs. Along the way, the artist got involved with many of the period’s most celebrated personalities, from his friendships with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to his brief romantic fling with Madonna. Nearly thirty years after his death, Basquiat’s story—and his art—continue to resonate and inspire. Posthumously, Basquiat is more successful than ever, with international retrospectives, critical acclaim, and multimillion dollar sales. Widely considered to be a major twentieth-century artist, Basquiat’s work has permeated the culture, from hip-hop shout-outs to a plethora of products. A definitive biography of this charismatic figure, Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art is as much a portrait of the era as a portrait of the artist; an incisive exposé of the eighties art market that paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the graffiti movement, the East Village art scene, and the art galleries and auction houses that fueled his meteoric career. Basquiat resurrects both the painter and his time.
Alice Neel liked to say that she was the century and in many ways she was. She was born into a proper Victorian family, and came of age during suffrage. The quintessential Bohemian, she spent more than half a century, from her early days as a WPA artist living in the heart of the Village, through her Whitney retrospective in 1974, until her death ten years later, painting, often in near-obscurity, an extraordinarily diverse population—from young black sisters in Harlem to the elderly Jewish twin artists, Raphael and Moses Soyer, to Meyer Schapiro and Linus Pauling, to the American Communist Party chairman Gus Hall—creating an indelible portrait of 20th century America. Neel's hundreds of portraits portray a universe of powerful personalities and document an age. Neel painted through the Depression, McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, the sexual revolution of the 60's, feminism, and the feverish eighties. Fiercely democratic in her subjects, she portrayed her lovers, her children, her neighbors in Spanish Harlem, pregnant nudes, crazy people, and famous figures in the art world, all in a searing, psychological style uniquely her own. From Village legend Joe Gould with multiple penises to Frank O'Hara as a lyrical young poet, from porn star Annie Sprinkle gussied up in leather, to her own anxious, nude pregnant daughter-in-law, Neel's portraits are as arrestingly executed as they are relentlessly honest. In this first full-length biography of Neel, best-selling author Phoebe Hoban recounts the remarkable story of Neel's life and career, as full of Sturm and Drang as the century she powerfully captured in paint. Neel managed to transcend her often tragic circumstances, surviving the death from diphtheria of her infant daughter Santillana, her first child by the renowned Cuban painter Carlos Enriquez, with whom she lived in Havana for a year before returning to America; the break-up of her marriage; a nervous breakdown at thirty resulting in several suicide attempts for which she was institutionalized; and the terrible separation from her second child, Isabetta, whom Carlos took back to Havana. In every aspect of her life, Neel dictated her own terms—from defiantly painting figurative pieces at the height of Abstract Expressionism, convincing her subjects to disrobe (which many of them did, including, surprisingly, Andy Warhol) to becoming a single mother to the two sons she bore to dramatically different partners. No wonder she became the de facto artist of the Feminist movement. (When Time magazine put Kate Millet on its cover in 1970, she was asked to paint the portrait.) Very much in touch with her time, Neel was also always ahead of it. Although she herself would probably have rejected such label, she was America's first feminist, multicultural artist, a populist painter for the ages. Phoebe Hoban's Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty tells the unforgettable story of a woman who forged a permanent place in the pantheon by courageously flaunting convention, both in her life and her work.
This work examines the fascinating life and art of the African American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). • Photographs show Basquiat at various times in his career, including shots in his studio surrounded by his work • A list of artworks described in the text provides details and sources where they can be viewed in full color, including images online
African American heritage is rich with stories of family, community, faith, love, adaptation and adjustment, grief, and suffering, all captured in a variety of media by artists intimately familiar with them. From traditional media of painting and artists such as Horace Pippin and Faith Ringgold, to photography of Gordon Parks, and new media of Sam Gilliam and Martin Puryear (installation art), the African American experience is reflected across generations and works. Eight pages of color plates and black and white images throughout the book introduce both favorite and new artists to students and adult readers alike. African American heritage is rich with stories of family, community, faith, love, adaptation and adjustment, grief, and suffering, all captured in a variety of media by artists intimately familiar with them. From traditional media of painting and artists such as Horace Pippin and Faith Ringgold, to photography of Gordon Parks, and new media of Sam Gilliam and Martin Puryear (installation art), the African American experience is reflected across generations and works. Eight pages of color plates and black and white images throughout the book introduce both favorite and new artists to students and adult readers alike. A sampling of the artists included: Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Achamyele Debela, and Melvin Edwards.
Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World seeks to dissect and interrogate the nature of the present-day art field, which has experienced dramatic shifts in the past 50 years. In discussions of the canon of art history, the notion of ‘inclusiveness’, both at the level of rhetoric and as a desired practice is on the rise and gradually replacing talk of ‘exclusion’, which dominated critiques of the canon up until two decades ago. The art field has dramatically, if insufficiently, changed in the half-century since the first protests and critiques of the exclusion of ‘others’ from the art canon. With increased globalization and shifting geopolitics, the art field is expanding beyond its Euro-American focus, as is particularly evident in the large-scale international biennales now held all over the globe. Are canons and counter-canons still relevant? Can they be re-envisioned rather than merely revised? Following an introduction that discusses these issues, thirteen newly commissioned essays present case studies of consecration in the contemporary art field, and three commissioned discussions present diverse positions on issues of the canon and consecration processes today. This volume will be of interest to instructors and students of contemporary art, art history, and museum and curatorial studies.
Features portraits of some six hundred noteworthy African Americans representing a wide variety of fields of endeavor.
This first biography of the English painter and grandson of Sigmund Freud traces the life of this extraordinary artist who painted everyone from Kate Moss to Queen Elizabeth and whose intent was always to find and reveal the character hidden within by means of his intense visual imagination.

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