Lot 5
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  • Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Untitled (Head)
  • graphite, colored pencil and oilstick on paper
  • 30 by 22 1/4 in. 76.2 by 56.5 cm. CHECK
Executed in 1980-1985.


Private Collection, Los Angeles (gift of the artist)
Acquired by the present owner from the above

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


Milan, Museo delle Culture, Jean-Michel Basquiat, October 2016 - February 2017, p. 136, illustrated in color
Rome, Chiostro del Bramante, Jean-Michel Basquiat: New York City, March - July 2017, pp. 100-101, illustrated in color
Sao Paulo; Brasilia; Belo Horizonte; Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Obras da Colecao Mugrabi, January 2018 - January 2019, p. 141, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

Amongst all the motifs in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, the black head is perhaps the most important of all. The artist learned early on that art-history as it was presented in the museums was overwhelmingly white, and lacked the representation of people of colour. Putting the black figure at the centre of his practice was therefore a radical political statement. As a highly skilled draughtsman, Basquiat’s heads are also amongst the most detailed of his works, and Untitled (Head) demonstrates the sheer power of the artist’s skill. Highly worked and with drawn with raw creative energy, this is drawing captures Jean-Michel Basquiat at his best.