Jean-Michel Basquiat sketchbook to make $80,000?

A sketchbook used by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) between 1979 and 1980 is to auction with a $60,000-80,000 estimate in a dedicated online sale at Christie's.

Titled Jean-Michel Basquiat: Works from the Collection of Alexis Adler, the auction will run from March 3-17.

Basqiuat sketchbook Christie's Adler
Alexis Adler, Basqiuat's ex-girlfriend, kept the sketchbook along with many of his earliest works

Adler is Basquiat's ex-girlfriend, and the collection encompasses work from the period they were together early in the artist's career.

The sketchbook contains poetry and drawings along with telephone numbers and lists that provide a unique insight into the mind of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.  

Other works in the sale include painted clothing, postcards and collages.

Jonathan Laib, Christie's senior specialist in post-war & contemporary art, commented: "The sum total of these works provide an intimate view of Basquiat before his fame and while he was practicing graffiti in the streets and getting by on his own wits and the good will of others who recognized his tremendous creative spark.

"His name was SAMO and it was written everywhere, he was infamous before becoming famous.

"This body of work exhibits the artist's early grasp of his ability and potential, many of the words and forms represented here carry over into his canvases which will be created just a few months later."

Three major works that Basquiat painted in Adler's East Village apartment, including a door and a radiator, will auction at Christie's post-war and contemporary sale on March 6.

His auction record is $38.8m, set at Christie's New York in 2013 for Dustheads.  

You can view our art and photography memorabilia range here.

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