Gagosian Quarterly

Fall 2017 Issue



Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (L.A. Painting) (1982) was a game changer. Text by Derek Blasberg.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (L.A. Painting), 1982, acrylic, oilstick, Xerox copies, collage, marker, and spray paint on canvas, 67 × 205 inches (170.2 × 520.7 cm) © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Rob McKeever

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (L.A. Painting), 1982, acrylic, oilstick, Xerox copies, collage, marker, and spray paint on canvas, 67 × 205 inches (170.2 × 520.7 cm) © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Rob McKeever

Derek Blasberg

Derek Blasberg is a writer, editor, and New York Times best-selling author. In addition to being the executive editor of Gagosian Quarterly, he is the head of fashion and beauty for YouTube. He has been with Gagosian since 2014.

See all Articles

This year, Jean-Michel Basquiat set the record for the highest-selling American artist when Untitled, a work from 1982, sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s. The work of art you see here, Untitled (L.A. Painting), debuted the same year at the former Gagosian Gallery on N. Almont Drive as part of the exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings. It was the first time Basquiat had exhibited in Los Angeles and his second solo show ever. The work is a masterpiece and has many of the hallmarks that we’ve come to associate with his work: the crown, the bird, the coin, the skull. With its underlayers of golden yellows (like sand or sun) overcome by soft blues (tones of the ocean), this panoramic painting, the largest of the twelve that were included in that landmark show, is marked by the geography of its inception: seeing it is like looking out at the Pacific from the shore. This California ambiance is worth noting.


Basquiat with Untitled (Julius Caesar on Gold) (1981; left) and Untitled (L.A. Painting) (1982; ground), New York, c. 1981 © Pierre Houlès

Given the mythical relationship between the artist and New York City, Basquiat’s West Coast outings have often been overlooked, but with two additional shows after the first (one in 1983, the other in 1986) and many trips in between—often staying at Larry Gagosian’s U-shaped house in Venice Beach—he made Los Angeles an important second home during crucially industrious years of his life.

Brice Marden: Sketchbook (Gagosian, 2019); Lee Lozano: Notebooks 1967–70 (Primary Information, 2010); Stanley Whitney: Sketchbook (Lisson Gallery, 2018); Kara Walker: MCMXCIX (ROMA, 2017); Louis Fratino,Sept ’18–Jan. ’19 (Sikkema Jenkins & Co., 2019); Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Notebooks (Princeton University Press, 2015); Keith Haring Journals (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, 2010).

Book Corner
Private Pages Made Public

Megan N. Liberty explores artists’ engagement with notebooks and diaries, thinking through the various meanings that arise when these private ledgers become public.

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019

The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.

Jean-Michel in Black and White

Jean-Michel in Black and White

Fred Hoffman looks back on the creation of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Tuxedo (1983), examining the work’s significance in relation to identity and the hip-hop culture of the 1980s.

Dorothy Lichtenstein in Roy Lichtenstein’s Southampton studio. Photo by Kasia Wandycz/Paris Match via Getty Images

In Conversation
Dorothy Lichtenstein

Dorothy Lichtenstein sits down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the changes underway at the Lichtenstein Foundation, life in the 1960s, and what brought her to—and kept her in—the Hamptons.

Mike Milken and Larry Gagosian

In Conversation
Mike Milken and Larry Gagosian

Mike Milken interviews Larry Gagosian about their shared histories, the important role of art in moments of crisis, and the long-term impact of creative visions.

A Christopher Wool painting from 1994. White background, with black and pink enamel.

Christopher Wool: Part One

Christopher Wool and his unlikely heroes or conceptual or not? Text by Richard Hell.

Huma Bhabha during the installation of Huma Bhabha: The Company at Gagosian, Rome, September 2019.

Work in Progress
Huma Bhabha

The artist tells Negar Azimi about her interest in the monstrous, the influence of science fiction on her practice, and her recent rooftop commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Billy Martin.

Digital Pompeii

Guitarist and legendary composer Marc Ribot and acclaimed percussionist Billy Martin speak with Brett Littman, the director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, about how they met, New York in the 1980s, and the way the visual arts have informed their music.

View of the south front of Kenwood House.

Kenwood House

Anna Eavis, the curatorial director of English Heritage, traces the history of Kenwood House and details the remarkable collection of paintings that reside there.

Richard Prince, Untitled, 2016–18.

Richard Prince

Text by Richard Hell.

Andy Warhol: Everything Is Good

Andy Warhol: Everything Is Good

Richard Hell writes about the “transcendentally camp” Pop artist, portraitist of daily life.