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Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), an obscure graffiti artist who shot to fame in the 1980s thanks to his Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings, is the subject of a major exhibition now on view at Gagosian Gallery in New York. Gagosian first featured Basquiat’s work thirty years ago in its Los Angeles gallery.

Since his untimely death at 27, Basquiat has been given a number of posthumous retrospectives including one at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1992-92) and another at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2005). The first major show to focus on the artist in eight years, the Gagosian exhibition will present over fifty works from public and private collections that span Basquiat’s short but powerful career.

Basquiat, who left his family home in Brooklyn at 15, became a major figure in New York City’s underground art scene. After making a name for himself as a prolific graffiti artist, Basquiat transitioned to painting and hit his artistic stride. Basquiat befriended Andy Warhol (1928-1987), was the subject of an iconic New York Times Magazine feature, and had become a major art star before his life was cut short due to a drug overdose.  

Basquiat’s works will be on view at Gagosian Gallery through April 6, 2013.

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Historian and American decorative arts expert, Wendell D. Garrett, died of natural causes on November 14 in Williston, Vermont. He was 83. Garrett was well known for his appearances as an appraiser on the PBS series, “Antiques Roadshow,” which launched in 1997. Garrett participated in every season of the program and will make a posthumous appearance on the show’s next season, which premieres January 7, 2013.

Prior to his work on “Antiques Roadshow,” Garrett served as the senior vice president in the American decorative arts department at Sotheby’s. He also wrote and edited a number of books on antiques including Victorian America: Classical Romanticism to Gilded Opulence (1993), Monticello and the Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (1994), and American Colonial: Puritan Simplicity to Georgian Grace (1995).

Born in Los Angeles in 1929, Garrett attended UCLA where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Subsequently, Garrett enrolled at the University of Delaware and received a master’s degree in early American culture from the school’s distinguished Winterthur program. He later earned another master’s degree in American history from Harvard.

Garrett joined the Adams Papers Project at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1959 where he served as the assistant editor of the Diary and Autobiography of John Adams (1961), a four-volume set that starts with entries from 1755. Garrett is also credited with finding an even earlier Adams diary with entries beginning in 1753. The Earliest Diary of John Adams was published in 1966 with Garrett as associate editor.

Garrett’s three children, four grandchildren, and a brother survive him.

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