20TH CENTURY MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 10.75 in. / 200 pgs / 200 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 3   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780878468713 TRADE
List Price: $50.00 CDN $69.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, 04/05/20–08/02/20

Miami, FL
Pérez Art Museum Miami, 09/19/20–02/14/21

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MFA PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

Edited by Liz Munsell, Greg Tate. Text by J. Faith Almiron, Dakota DeVos, Hua Hsu, Carlo McCormick.

Fab 5 Freddy's "Five" (1980–81) is reproduced from 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation.'

How hip-hop culture and graffiti electrified the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries in 1980s New York

In the early 1980s, art and writing labeled as graffiti began to transition from New York City walls and subway trains onto canvas and into art galleries. Young artists who freely sampled from their urban experiences and their largely Black, Latinx and immigrant histories infused the downtown art scene with expressionist, pop and graffiti-inspired compositions.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) became the galvanizing, iconic frontrunner of this transformational and insurgent movement in contemporary American art, which resulted in an unprecedented fusion of creative energies that defied longstanding racial divisions. Writing the Future features Basquiat’s works in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music and fashion, alongside works by his contemporaries—and sometimes collaborators—A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee and Toxic. Throughout the 1980s, these artists fueled new directions in fine art, design and music, reshaping the predominantly white art world and driving the now-global popularity of hip-hop culture.

Writing the Future, published to accompany a major exhibition, contextualizes Basquiat’s work in relation to his peers associated with hip-hop culture. It also marks the first time Basquiat’s extensive, robust and reflective portraiture of his Black and Latinx friends and fellow artists has been given prominence in scholarship on his oeuvre. With contributions from Carlo McCormick, Liz Munsell, Hua Hsu, J. Faith Almiron and Greg Tate, Writing the Future captures the energy, inventiveness and resistance unleashed when hip-hop hit the city.


Fab 5 Freddy's "Five" (1980–81) is reproduced from 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Forbes: Media

Chadd Scott

Writing the Future' differentiates itself as the first major exhibition to contextualize Basquiat’s work in relation to his peers associated with hip-hop culture.

ARTFIXdaily

Editors

features Basquiat’s works in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music and fashion, alongside works by his contemporaries—and sometimes collaborators—A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee and Toxic. Throughout the 1980s, these artists fueled new directions in fine art, design and music, reshaping the predominantly white art world and driving the now-global popularity of hip-hop culture.

Blackbook

Ken Scrudato

A revolution unto himself, Jean-Michel Basquiat exploded into the art world at a time when another revolution was in full-swing; and he enthusiastically embraced hip-hop aesthetics and politics as influences.

Observer New Review

Helen Holmes

Features brilliantly hued images of work by both Basquiat and some of his contemporaries.

New York Times

Lauren Christensen

...to leaf through this prodigy’s oeuvre intermingled with photos of what he called “just … you know, my friends and stuff”; of their tags brightening storefronts and subway cars, of the boomboxes and leather jackets and reference books they at once desecrated and elevated, is to hold in your hands the record of a place and a time and a togetherness we can only hope one day to experience again.

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/29/2020

A sudden thrill from Rammellzee in 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

A sudden thrill from Rammellzee in 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

Rammellzee's "Super Robber" (1985) is reproduced from Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, published to accompany the highly-anticipated exhibition currently on hiatus at MFA Boston. Featuring work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and 1980s NYC contemporaries including A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee and Toxic, this is a must-have book for any serious contemporary art or pop culture library. J. Faith Almiron writes, “Fearsome and fearless, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Rammellzee commanded the cosmos. Their street politics and poetics awakened the dead—from ancestors dwelling in the Atlantic or the Mississippi River to monks marooned in catacombs. Sons of Thor, they commanded the sea and sky. No Earth needed; as told in African American folklore, they were the people who could fly.” continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/27/2020

Carlo McCormick on 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

Carlo McCormick on 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

Jean-Michel Basquiat's "In Italian" (1983) is reproduced from Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, one of the most vibrant exhibition catalogs of the year, and maybe the decade. An exploration of how hip-hop culture and graffiti electrified the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries in 1980s New York, "this is the story of the stories that were told, with tremendous urgency and at great peril, when no one seemed to listen or to care what these kids had to say," Carlo McCormick writes in his superb essay. 'It’s about a time, long ago now for even those of us who lived through it, when fantastical urban myths were spun and legends were born. Yes, it’s about the fame of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fab 5 Freddy’s social fabrics, Futura’s atmospheric attacks, the cult hero Lee, and the equation known as Rammellzee. It’s also about the diverse evolution of graffiti into a radical ornamentation of Gothic Futurism as well as the kind of visual poetics and narrative force unleashed when a relatively few graffiti writers understood they could say so much more than their names. But it is also about the conversation and connectivity that spun a web of intricate social interface and influence within a small but dense creative community over a remarkably short period of time. It’s about how the word was spread and splayed, transmitted, transmuted and transgressed along the way into a wild style of rapid and radical hybridity. If history does rhyme but not repeat, let’s try to imagine how a generation set loose on the dance floor–street corner–playground could suddenly find a shared beat and mutual dialect with the gatekeepers of high art in the 1980s. Individuals may assert their singularity—their individual class, race, identity—but in the density of the city at this moment, they moved together." continue to blog


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