- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - An auction house says an important early work by graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (zhahn mee-SHEHL’ BAH’-skee-aht) is going up for sale in New York.

Christie’s says “Untitled 1981” could set a record sale for Basquiat when it’s offered Nov. 14.

The colorful acrylic and oilstick canvas depicts a skeletal figure of a fisherman displaying his catch.

The work has been in the same private collection for nearly two decades. It’s been featured in every major Basquiat retrospective.

Christie’s says Basquiat is being recognized as a classic of postwar American art, alongside such artists as Jackson Pollock.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose at age 27 in 1988.

Basquiat’s current record sale of $20.1 million was set for the self-portrait “Untitled” in June.

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