PAMM presents Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
Pérez Art Museum Miami open the first major exhibition focused on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s notebooks
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is the first major exhibition focused on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s notebooks, filled with poetry fragments, wordplay, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. This exhibition features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings.
A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks emphasizes the distinct interplay of text and images in Basquiat’s art, providing unprecedented insight into the importance of writing in the artist’s process. The notebook pages on display contain early renderings of iconic imagery—tepees, crowns, skeleton-like figures, and grimacing faces—that also appear throughout his large-scale works, as well as an early drawing related to his series of works titled Famous Negro Athletes.
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and is curated by Dieter Buchhart, guest curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
Celebrate the opening of Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks with an art talk by artist William Cordova followed by a discussion with PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans and PAMM Assistant Curator María Elena Ortiz. On the terrace, Tradisyon Lakou Lakay dance ensemble and DJ Gardy will perform a traditional Vodou-inspired dance accompanied by magical melodies and beautiful rhythmic roots music of Haiti, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, combined with retro electronic music.