© Jean-Michel Basquiat / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Posters

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s exhibition posters chronicle the street art legend’s life and career, including his early days as a struggling graffiti artist, his famed collaborations with Andy Warhol, and his posthumous rise to contemporary art market superstar. The Batman Show (1979) is Basquiat’s first known exhibition poster, featuring a line drawing of a bat in Basquiat’s signature sketched style. Basquiat, still relatively unknown at the time, wasn’t even exhibiting at the show but was tapped nonetheless to create the exhibition poster by the show’s curator Diego Cortez, a well-connected artist and filmmaker responsible for introducing Basquiat to many players in the art world. A year later, Cortez organized Basquiat’s first showing of his childlike paintings with “The Time Square Show,” ushering an eight-year period of worldwide exhibitions that left behind a myriad of collectible posters. Highlights from this era include the boxing-themed posters from his joint exhibition with Warhol at The Palladium in 1985, the dynamic yellow posters from his “Supercomb”exhibition at Yvon Lambert Gallery in Paris in 1988, and the photographic posters for his final show at Vrej Baghoomian Gallery in New York in 1988, which feature a haunting portrait of the artist holding a Jack Kerouac novel shortly before his premature death later that year.

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