By Margot Mifflin
December 04, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Jean-Michel Basquiat

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It’s embarrassing to see how desperate the essayists in this catalog are to validate Richard Marshall’s Jean-Michel Basquiat, the graffiti-inspired painter who rode the wave of the ’80s art boom and died, at 27, of a drug overdose in 1988. Critic Greg Tate alone expresses a healthy ambivalence toward the cult of Basquiat while confirming his importance as a black artist in a white art world. The most arresting voice in these pages comes through in Basquiat’s own recklessly inventive paintings, collected here for the first time in their entirety. B

Jean-Michel Basquiat

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