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Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat heads Bonhams next London Sale of Contemporary Art
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- A rare work by the New York artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) whose artistic journey took him from graffiti in the streets of his native city to its leading galleries and an untimely death at the age 28, heads Bonhams Contemporary Art auction on 16th October.

Untitled, 1982, which carries an estimate of £800,000-1,200,000, is a work produced during one of the most creative and innovative periods of the artist’s career, when he was preparing for his first solo show in the USA, a show which was to garner critical and commercial success and which was to launch him as a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary art world.

A native New Yorker, Basquiat’s incredible output and legacy can be clearly linked to the city’s burgeoning creative scene of the early 1980s when the artist, along with his friend and contemporary Keith Haring, moved from making impromptu graffiti pieces on the street to exhibiting in high-end galleries. With its dramatic use of oil stick and representation of a haunting mask-like head, Untitled, 1982 includes many of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s signature techniques and reveals the inspiration of African tribal art that was so important to the artist’s iconic style.

Despite his early demise from a heroin overdose only six years after the completion of Untitled, 1982, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s reputation has grown ever since, to the point where he is now one of the best known and most sought after artists in the world.

Bonhams October Contemporary Art auction, held to coincide with London Frieze week, will also include works by other internationally renowned artists, including an elegant 1967 white wood relief by Sergio Camargo (estimate £120,000-180,000), an exquisite Andy Warhol Portrait of Yves Saint Laurent (£200,000-300,000), vibrant works on paper by Gerhard Richter (£45,000-65,000) and Alexander Calder (£20,000-30,000) as well as a distinctive early pot by Grayson Perry featuring a portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales (£18,000-25,000).

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