Lot 11
  • 11

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT | Untitled (Famous Negro Athletes)

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  • Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Untitled (Famous Negro Athletes)
  • acrylic and ink on door
  • 80 1/4 by 24 by 3 1/2 in. 203.8 by 60.9 by 8.9 cm.
Executed in 1980-1981.


Collection of Alexis Adler, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Christie's, New York, March 6, 2014, lot 43
Acquired by the present owner from the above sale

This work is accompanied by a certificate issued by the Authentication Committee of The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Milan, Museo delle Culture, Jean-Michel Basquiat, October 2016 - February 2017, p. 48, illustrated in color
Denver, Museum of Contemporary Art, Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street 1979-1980, February - May 2017, p. 44, illustrated in color, and p. 125 (text)
Sao Paulo; Brasilia; Belo Horizonte, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Obras da Colecao Mugrabi, January - September 2018, p. 40, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

In his early years when he could not yet afford to paint on canvasses, Jean-Michel Basquiat would use found objects as the basis for his works. In Untitled (Famous Negro Athletes), painted in 1980-81 when the artist only just turned 21, is a great example of that, having been painted on an old door. Though minimal in style, the work is full of iconic Basquiat symbolism – including the Famous Negro Athletes (followed by a copyright symbol referencing systems of ownership), the iconic three-point crown, the car and wheel, the Christian cross and a heart.