Join us on Zoom for a book talk with Jordana Moore Saggese, editor of The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews, and Critical Responses.

The first comprehensive collection of the words and works of a movement-defining artist.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) burst onto the art scene in the summer of 1980 as one of approximately one hundred artists exhibiting at the 1980 Times Square Show in New York City. By 1982, at the age of twenty-one, Basquiat had solo exhibitions in galleries in Italy, New York, and Los Angeles. Basquiat’s artistic career followed the rapid trajectory of Wall Street, which boomed from 1983 to 1987. In the span of just a few years, this Black boy from Brooklyn had become one of the most famous American artists of the 1980s. The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader is the first comprehensive sourcebook on the artist, closing gaps that have until now limited the sustained study and definitive archiving of his work and its impact.

Eight years after his first exhibition, Basquiat was dead, but his popularity has only grown. Through a combination of interviews with the artist, criticism from the artist’s lifetime and immediately after, previously unpublished research by the author, and a selection of the most important critical essays on the artist’s work, this collection provides a full picture of the artist’s views on art and culture, his working process, and the critical significance of his work both then and now.

Presented by the Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC)/Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA)-New York University; Co-sponsored by 370J Project, Dept. of Photography & Imaging-NYU Tisch School of the Arts and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Jordana Moore Saggese is an Associate Professor of American Art at the University of Maryland, College Park and Editor-in-Chief of the College Art Association’s Art Journal. She was previously Associate Professor of Contemporary Art & Theory at California College of the Arts. Trained as an art historian, Saggese’s work focuses on modern and contemporary American art with an emphasis on the expressions and theorizations of blackness. She is an internationally-recognized expert on the work of the American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88). Her newest book The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews, and Critical Responses will be published in March 2021 by the University of California Press. Photo Credit: Sarah Deragon Social Media: instagram: @dr_saggese Twitter: @jordanasaggese Web: