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Keith Haring

Who Was Keith Haring?

Keith Haring (1953–1990) was an American artist in the 1980s. The artistic work with its comic-like characters is one of the most popular artist oeuvres in the world. During his short but intense career of only ten years, he exhibited in over 100 solo and group exhibitions. In 1986 alone, more than 40 articles were written in newspapers and magazines. Documenta 7 in Kassel was one of the major exhibitions that invited him; the São Paulo Biennale and the Whitney Biennale. Haring has created numerous projects in public spaces (Spectacolor billboard in Times Square), designs for sets for plays and clubs, designs for the watch brand Swatch and an advertising campaign for Absolut Vodka. There were also murals all over the world. Keith Haring also gave drawing workshops for children in schools and museums in New York, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo and Bordeaux.

“The skill of drawing and balancing is what matters, not the technique. The paintings not only have a natural resemblance to those of Léger, they also evoke comparisons with African, Indian, Aztec and other traditional forms of design, not because they imitate them, but because of the characteristics of the drawing. "

Keith Haring has also participated in many collaborative projects, working with artists and performers as diverse as Madonna, Grace Jones, Bill T. Jones, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol. Keith Haring appealed to a wide audience when he dealt with the universal questions of being human: birth, death, love, sexuality and war. His primacy of the line, the large-scale, high-contrast colors and the directness of the statements guarantee a high recognition value to this day.


Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Allen and Joan Haring. Together with his three younger siblings Kay, Karen and Kristen, he grew up well sheltered in nearby Kutztown. Haring's father awakens his son's love for drawing and cartoons.

"My father painted cartoon characters for me, and they were very similar to my first drawings - comic-like outlines from a single line."1 In addition to his father's drawings, the artist also names the comic characters of Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

As a child, Keith Haring attended church regularly. Out of the desire to belong to a group, he briefly joined the countercultural Jesus Movement. As a so-called Jesus freak, he encouraged other people to experience their spiritual rebirth. Soon, however, Haring became disaffected and began experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs.

Years later, the Radiant Baby became his trademark. There the rays stand for a “spiritual light that shines outward from within”.2


Keith Haring in Pittsburgh

The Haring exhibition in the Folkwang Museum surprises with the artist's early work! Haring is famous for his subway drawings and the figure repertoire developed in them from the 1980s. But Haring found the basis for his art in Pittsburgh, where he began studying graphic design in 1976/77 and dropped out after two semesters. The reason for this was that he saw himself as a freelance artist and not as a commercial artist. As early as 1978 he exhibited at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. On display were black and white painted environments, fragments of older works that he presented hanging in the room. Shortly afterwards, in the fall of 1978, Keith Haring moved to New York City, where he immersed himself in the art scene and counterculture in the East Village and professed his homosexuality.

Keith Haring in New York

In September 1978 Keith Haring moved to New York, where he studied at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) until 1980. Here Haring found a thriving art scene with alternative modes of expression that developed beyond galleries and museums. In the streets of downtown, at the south end of Manhattan, the subway stations, clubs (Club 57) and former dance halls, he met artists such as Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat. There were also musicians, performance artists and graffiti sprayers.

Keith Haring was not only inspired by contemporary art and the alternative scene: Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Alechinsky, William Burroughs (→ The Art of William S. Burroughs), Brion Gysin and Robert Henri's manifesto “The Art Spirit” shaped Keith Haring's work. Based on Dubuffer's “Hourloupe” series, the idea of ​​all-over and non-representational art, Keith Haring developed his characteristic style and a number of significant figures between 1978 and 1980. Concepts such as Christo's “Running Fence” (Land-Art) and Andy Warhol's Factory (connection of art and life) made Haring dream of an art for everyone.

“I hope it is not conceited to believe that I am exploring possibilities that artists like Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Alechinsky have initiated but not fully explored. Your ideas are alive. "3

When Keith Haring visited an exhibition by the Belgian painter Pierre Alechinsky at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (October 28, 1977– January 8, 1978), he noticed stylistic parallels to his own work, which encouraged him to pursue an artistic career . The artist's first of two solo exhibitions took place at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, where Keith Haring had previously taken odd jobs. He used the premises there for his large-scale, abstract painting.

In the fall of 1978, Haring moved to New York City to study at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). His teachers included artists such as Bill Beckley, Lucio Pozzi, Simone Forti, Barbara Schwartz and Keith Sonnier. The discovery of the medium of video had a significant impact on Haring. The new medium made him increasingly aware of the importance of movement and performance for his painting:

"Video - a medium that enables a higher form of communication - more direct, more immersive than painting / sculpture."

In 1979 Keith Haring moved to New York's East Village - home to a multicultural and creative scene that he called "Gay Disneyland". The young artist immersed himself in the lively world of underground art and the club scene:

“It was an explosion [...] artists from all over America made a pilgrimage to New York. It was completely insane. And we had it in our own hands. "4

This creative explosion, coupled with a lack of exhibition space, has turned the streets of New York into an art venue. Artists realize their work in public space. After observing the SAMO lettering on the streets of New York for almost a year, Haring finally met the creators of this graffiti, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz. Basquiat and Haring later became friends and became artistic rivals.

Keith Haring and his friends, including Kenny Scharf, a fellow student from SVA, regularly visited Club 57, a meeting place for theater and art in the basement of the Polish church on St. Mark’s Place. Haring organizes numerous exhibitions there by artists from his circle of friends. In the summer of 1980, Haring gained increasing fame as an artist. He is leaving the SVA because he has the feeling that he can no longer learn anything there. He is increasingly active in the underground scene and is fascinated by the graffiti that could be seen all over the city.

Graffiti in public spaces

Keith Haring created hundreds of drawings in public spaces in the first half of the 1980s. His quick, rhythmic lines, his recurring motifs quickly made him a local celebrity. Up to 40 drawings a day were made with white chalk on the blank, black billboards on the New York subway. The painter and graphic artist later referred to the subway as his “laboratory” for ideas and a field of experimentation for his simple lines.

“The drawings that I make have very little to do with drawings in the classic sense of the type that have been made since the Renaissance, with drawings that imitate life or give a true-to-life impression. My drawings don't try to imitate life, they try to create life. ”(Keith Haring)

Art for everyone: new headlines

Keith Haring began painting the streets of New York in the winter of 1980, developing a lively and communicative visual language from pictograms. The radiant baby became his trademark. With the lettering “CLONES GO HOME!”, Which he sprayed on with a stencil, he marked the territorial boundary between the gay scene in the East and West Village. Using rearranged headlines from the New York Post, the artist put together collages that proclaim: "POPE KILLED FOR FREED HOSTAGE" or "REAGAN SLAIN BY HERO COP".

“I copied these headlines a hundred times and pasted them on lampposts and newsstands. Because they looked so real, people were forced to deal with them. They were completely confused - and the posters really left their mark, because they got stuck in people's minds. "5

Subway drawings

One day when Keith Haring was on the subway, his eyes fell on the black paper that was pasted over old billboards. This area inspired him to make artistic use of the public space. He bought white chalk and began to draw on these surfaces. Keith Haring created hundreds of drawings in public spaces in the first half of the 1980s. His quick, rhythmic lines, his recurring motifs quickly made him a local celebrity. Up to 40 drawings a day were made with white chalk on the blank, black billboards on the New York subway. The painter and graphic artist later referred to the subway as his “laboratory” for ideas and a field of experimentation for his simple lines. In addition, the underground corridors gave him the opportunity to reach an almost infinitely large and diverse audience. The dialogue with commuters was an integral part of his Subway Drawings for the artist. During his performances, in the course of which the works of art were created, Keith Haring also distributed buttons and badges, thereby making his visual language even more widely known.

“The drawings that I make have very little to do with drawings in the classic sense of the type that have been made since the Renaissance, with drawings that imitate life or give a true-to-life impression. My drawings don't try to imitate life, they try to create life. ”(Keith Haring)

After decorating subway corridors with his iconic chalk pictures for five years, Keith Haring decided in 1985 to stop making subway drawings. He felt that he had already shared his messages with the largest possible audience and had thus achieved his goal. The sales prices for Haring's works had soared in the meantime due to his increasing popularity that people cut his chalk drawings out of their frames in the subway corridors. However, this was in stark contrast to Haring's artistic intentions, and he looked for other ways to make his art accessible to a wide audience: In the Pop Shop, he found a new platform for his art.

Early successes

1981 can rightly be described as Keith Hring's breakthrough in the New York art scene. He attracted more and more attention with his work and exhibited his works not only in the New York subway. Solo exhibitions at Westbeth Painters Space (February 10-14), Club 57 (May 12) and a second show at P. S. 122 (October 18-21) drew public interest in his work. He also took part in the major group exhibition “New York / New Wave” at the PS 1 Museum on Long Island City (February 15 - April 5), curated by Diego Cortez and with works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol. Haring also took part in the “Drawing Show” in the Mudd Club (February 22nd – March 15th). But he not only presented his own work, but also organized short exhibitions, including the “Erotic Art Show” (February 12) and (with Fred Brathwaite aka Fab 5 Freddy) the “Black Light Art Show” at Club 57 (3–4 June) .) as well as the exhibition “Beyond Words” in the Mudd Club (April 9–24), curated by Fab 5 Freddy and Futura 2000 at Haring's request.

Haring moved into a large apartment in Lower Manhattan with girlfriend Samantha McEwen and then partner Juan Dubose. For more privacy and closeness, Haring and Dubose used a camping tent as a bedroom. The basement became Haring's first studio.

At this time, television and computer screens began to appear in Keith Haring's works for the first time, often instead of the heads of his characteristic figures - a statement on the rampant power of the mass media. Information technology used for entertainment purposes and video games developed rapidly in the 1980s. Haring's awareness of this technological advance - and possibly his concerns - later emerged in numerous large-format pictures, for example in his "Untitled" from 1984, which shows a computer with a free-floating brain on the screen in the upper half and one in the lower half Tv screen with a radioactivity icon on it.

“The silicon computer chip has developed into a new way of life. One day the sole purpose of man will be to maintain and serve the computer [...] It seems to me that man has reached the end of his evolutionary development. If we continue on the same path, we will ultimately extinguish ourselves. "6

Haring at Tony Shafrazi

Keith Haring had become more and more famous, and his studio was nearly overrun with collectors. Overwhelmed by this great amount of attention, he decided to be represented by the gallery owner Tony Shafrazi from SoHo, for whom he had temporarily worked as an assistant in the past. Shortly afterwards, preparations began for his first solo exhibition, which also featured joint works with the then 14-year-old artist LA II (also: Little Angel, Angel Ortiz). He worked with the graffiti artist LA II over and over again for the next four years. The exhibition included Haring's first paintings on vinyl tarps as well as early drawings and painted objects such as B. Vases (10/9 - 11/13/1982).

The Tony Shafrazi Gallery showed the second Haring exhibition in 1983/84, entitled "Into 84" (December 3, 1983– January 7, 1984). The artist was still reluctant to present his work in a traditional exhibition setting. So he turned the gallery into a club: Haring exhibited his Day Glo work in a black light room, where his partner Juan Dubose played as a DJ and his fluorescent pictures and objects glowed in the dark.

Haring created large metal sculptures for the first time for a joint exhibition in the Tony Shafrazi and Leo Castelli galleries (10/26 - 11/23/30/1985). These often show figures with acrobatic motifs that are inspired by hip hop dance forms and interlock like dancers or artists. With these works, Haring wanted to encourage the audience to interact with the characters.

Andy Warhol

At the opening of his solo exhibition in the Fun Gallery (February 3–27, 1983), for which he again worked with the artist LA II, Keith Haring finally met his idol Andy Warhol. Founded in 1981 by Patti Astor, the gallery represented artists from the street art scene: Fab 5 Freddy (Fred Brathwaite), Lee (Quinones), Zephyr, Dondi, Lady Pink and Futura 2000 as well as Keith Haring and Basquiat. Andy Warhol, by then already a Pop Art icon of the 1960s, quickly developed into the young Haring's friend and mentor. Warhol exemplified how an artist could be successful in popular mass culture and commercially while still maintaining the integrity of one's own artistic creation.

When Andy Warhol died unexpectedly as a result of routine surgery on February 22, 1987, Haring wrote extensively about the importance of his artistic vision:

“Andy's life made my work possible in the first place. Andy set the precedent that enables my art to exist. He was the first true ›modern artist‹. "7

Keith Haring, the activist

The activism in Keith Haring's works advanced through his participation in one Anti-atom demo in New York's Central Park on Dec.June 1982 even more in the foreground. Haring and a group of his friends distributed around 20,000 posters at the demonstration, which he himself had printed.

The year 1983 brought two deaths that strongly touched Keith Haring and brought both AIDA and racism to the fore: On August 6, 1983, the artist Klaus Nomi, a friend of Haring and also an active member of Club 57, died of complications as a result of his AIDS illness. Nomi was the first from Haring's social circle to fall victim to the disease.
Graffiti artist Michael Stewart died in police custody on September 28th. Many, like Haring, believed that his death was an act of racism and police violence. Both Basquiat and Haring produce pictures in homage to Stewart.

As a statement in the ongoing fight against the apartheid In 1985 Haring designed his poster "Free South Africa", which is used at many demonstrations as a visual sign of protest. A number of other works on the topic followed, including pictures and subway drawings. The image was also distributed as a T-shirt print. Keith Haring organized the “Rain Dance” benefit event for UNICEF emergency aid in Africa. The event took place on January 30th in the Paradise Garage, and an accompanying exhibition from February 2nd to 23rd in SoHo.

At the same time he was involved in numerous other charitable causes. Since the AIDS-Crisis took a growing influence on Haring's life and the artist's social environment, he used his easily accessible imagery and public presence to initiate a debate on the topic and create awareness of safer sex. For this he used symbols of the LGBTQ interest group ACT UP in his works: the pink triangle with the words "Silence = Death". With "Ignorance = Fear, Silence = Death [looking away = fear, silence = death]" - figures drawn in silver and a pink triangle on a black background - in 1989 he designed the ACT UP poster, which is still used today.

Collaboration with artists

In October 1983 Keith Haring met British fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in New York. Shortly afterwards he decided to work on their Witches collection (winter 1983/84).

At the “Party of Life”, Haring's birthday party on May 16, 1984 in the Paradise Garage in New York, Madonna played her song “Dress You Up”, dressed in a pink leather costume designed by Haring and LA II; for a preview of her song "Like A Virgin" Madonna appeared in white ruffles. In September she played "Like a Virgin" at the first MTV Awards; the song becomes her first world hit.

On July 24, 1984, Keith Haring painted the body of the singer Grace Jones with its characteristic white lines and motifs. Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe documented the creation process and the end result photographically; the photos appeared in Warhol's “Interview” magazine in October. Other joint projects with the singer followed: Jones regularly appeared in body paintings made by Haring at performances in the Paradise Garage, and the artist participated in the music video for Jones' popular single "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect For you)".

In response to the success of Studio 54, its founder Steve Rubell, a Haring collector from the very beginning, converted the former Palladium cinema into a nightclub, which opened in May 1985. Keith Haring - like many artists of his generation - was commissioned to create a permanent, large-scale backdrop for the club.8

In 1988 and 1989 Keith Haring worked with Beat writer William Burroughs (1914–1997) on a series of screen prints on the theme of Apocalypse (1988), which were presented at an event at the Casa Sin Nombre Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico , and The Valley (1989).

“When Keith and I worked on Apocalypse together, it was never a teacher-student venture. Keith was young, but by no means immature when it came to art. Our work was equal in proportion and purpose. I found Keith's work on Apocalypse amazing in every way. When I first saw the screen prints, it was a shock - but a good shock. My texts were perfectly understood and reproduced very well. "(William S. Burroughs)

Haring's projects with children

During 1984 Keith Haring worked on a number of pro bono projects with children. These include wall paintings in Melbourne and Sydney as well as in the Children's Village in New York, a non-profit organization that supports children in need. In their honesty, their humor and their impartial attitude, the artist recognizes his own childish side:

“Children are fascinated by their everyday existence; this fascination is very special, and many adults would do well to learn to understand and respect it. I am now 28 years old on the outside, on the inside I'm about 12. I want to stay 12 years old on the inside. "9

In 1985 Haring worked with a thousand children on the large-format art project CityKids Speak on Liberty. On the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty, the New York artist and the children painted a giant banner that was presented on July 4th in the New York borough of Battery Park City during the celebrations for Independence Day, the American national holiday.

As part of a joint project between the Chicago Public Schools school district and the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Chicago, Keith Haring painted a large-format mural in collaboration with 300 children from May 15 to 18, 1989. Due to the great success of the project, the mayor declared the week to be "Keith Haring Week". The artist then offered to paint two murals on the walls of the local hospital.

Pop Shop

On April 19, 1986, Keith Haring opened his pop shop at 292 Lafayette Street in New York City. Although he had further developed his style to a less abstract one over the years, his extensive painting style of the 1970s emerged again in the design of the Pop Shop. The shop, selling merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers and posters at affordable prices, was a logical extension of Haring's philosophy that art should be accessible to everyone. The deal allowed him to continue the public interaction he began with his Subway Drawings. The shop stayed open until September 2005; all proceeds were donated to non-profit children's and educational organizations as well as to AIDS aid organizations. A second pop shop, opened in Tokyo in 1987, was less successful as counterfeit Haring designs sold at dumped prices were widespread in Japan.

Participation in international exhibitions

Haring was invited to take part in international exhibitions from 1982, including his first show in Europe (April - June, Rotterdam) and the famous documenta VI, 1982 in Kassel (June - September). The artist also realized a number of other projects. These included his animated drawings for the Spectacolor billboard in Times Square (January), organized by the Public Art Fund, and his first public wall painting on Houston Street in downtown Manhattan, which he completed in June.

Keith Haring achieved greater fame internationally. Increasingly, he was invited to show his work at exhibitions outside the United States. Instead of shipping his art, he traveled around the world to create new works on the spot, for example for exhibitions in the Watari Gallery in Tokyo (March 8th – 8th) and in the Galleria Lucio Amelio in Naples (May). As part of a show at the Robert Fraser Gallery in London (October 19 - November 12) he “dressed” the choreographer and director Bill T. Jones in a body painting. Haring's work has also been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and São Paulo, Brazil.

As part of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux (December 15, 1985 to February 23, 1986) he painted the large-format work "The Ten Commandments".

“I worked in The Ten Commandments this way: even though the commandments say 'You Shall Not Steal,' my picture shows someone stealing something: the antithesis. I show what not to do instead of saying, 'You should do that'. "

In the following year Keith Haring showed his works in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (March 15 - May 12, 1986). Some of the works on display were those that had already been presented in Bordeaux the previous year, and Haring also created several new works of art on site. Preparations for the exhibition also included painting an outer wall of the museum warehouse (not visible) and "Velum" for the ceiling of the staircase (→ Amsterdam | Stedelijk Museum: Keith Harings Velum).
Solo exhibitions took place at Casino Knokke in Belgium (June – August) - in Knokke he also painted a wall for the Channel Surf Club there - and at the Hans Mayer Gallery in Düsseldorf (September). Haring's art was also shown in the group exhibition "L’Epoque, La Mode, La Morale, La Passion: Aspectsde l’Art d’ Aujourd’hui, 1977–1987 "at the Center Pompidou, Paris. At the same time, Haring painted the chimney of the children's hospital.
This year Haring also constructed a work of art in the form of a cardboard carousel for the Luna Luna project by André Heller, a traveling amusement park and fair for contemporary art by André Heller (together with Arik Brauer, David Hockney, Joseph Beuys, Salvador Dalí and many more). Keith Haring also painted some larger walls in Antwerp and Paris.

Keith Haring continued to travel the world in 1989. He showed his work in solo exhibitions at Galerie 121 in Antwerp (July - August) and at Galerie Hete A. M. Hünermann in Düsseldorf.

Red Dog for Landois for Skulptur-Projekte Münter 1987

The 1987 Sculpture Projects, curated by Klaus Bußmann and Kasper König, gave Keith Haring the opportunity to realize a large, site-specific sculpture and present it in an international context. His “Red Dog for Landois” stands on the former grounds of the Münster zoo, founded by Hermann Landois in the 19th century and demolished in the mid-1970s to replace a bank building. Keith Haring wrote in a project sketch that his “Red Dog for Landois” could be understood as the “spirit of the animals of the old zoo and the spirit of Landois himself, who rise from the ground to bark at the new building in protest”.

Haring used the “barking dog” as a starting point for the design, one of his best-known motifs that he had left behind as a line drawing in the streets of New York at the end of the 1970s. The drawing and the model made of red-painted cardboard were created during the planning process and prepared for the production of the later monumental sculpture (4.6 mx 6.2 m x 5.2 m) made of red-painted Corten steel.

Berlin wall

In October 1986 Keith Haring was invited by a Berlin group dealing with human rights violations in the GDR to paint part of the west side of the Berlin Wall. The artist was not deterred by the fact that the first two meters in front of the western side of the Wall officially belonged to East Germany. Whenever border guards approached, he hopped back onto West German soil, only to continue painting afterwards. The result: a chain of linked, typical Haring figures in the colors of the German flag. The painted wall is an open political commitment, an "attempt to psychologically destroy the wall by painting it".10

Pisa: Haring's last work in public space

In June Keith Haring created his last work of art in public space: the wall painting of a church wall in the old town of Pisa, Italy. The work was sponsored by the city and supported by the church. The artist was welcomed with open arms and the work of art became one of the highlights of his career. In the work Haring combined well-known motifs, for example the figure with a screen instead of a head and the diabolical sperm that is cut in two. Keith Haring took up the colourfulness of the pastel-colored Renaissance palazzi in the city and titled his work "Tuttomondo" - a symbol for the harmony between all people in the world.


In late 1989, Haring stopped taking AZT and tried other drugs to counter the progression of AIDS. Tragically, however, his health deteriorated dramatically within a short period of time. Keith Haring died on February 16, 1990 as a result of his illness.

On May 4th - Haring would have turned 32 that day - a memorial service was held in New York City, attended by over a thousand people. At this point in time 90,000 Americans had already died as a result of their AIDS illness, including the artist Tseng Kwong Chi, who was a friend of Haring and who documented his public projects and captured the artist's life and work in pictures.

Literature on Keith Haring

  • Keith Haring (Aust.-Cat. Tate Liverpool, 14.6. – 10.11.2019; BOZAR Brussels, 6.12.2019–21.7.2020; Museum Folkwang Essen, 21.8. – 29.11.2020), Berlin 2020.
  • Keith Haring - the Alphabet, ed. v. Dieter Buchhart, Elsy Lahner and Klaus Albrecht Schröder (exhib.-cat. Albertina, Vienna, March 16 - June 24, 2018), Vienna 2018.
  • Keith Haring: 1978-1982, ed. by Lucy Flint (exhibition cat., Kunsthalle Wien and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, IL), Nuremberg 2012.
  • Keith Haring, Journals, New York and London 2010.
  • Natalie E. Phillips, The Radiant (Christ) Child: Keith Haring and the Jesus Movement, in: American Art, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2007, pp. 54-73. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/526480.
  • Keith Haring, ed. v. Elisabeth Sussman (exhibition cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 18-21, 1997) New York 1997 (German version Cologne 1998).
  • John Gruen, Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography, New York and London 1992.
  • David Sheff, Keith Haring: Just Say Know, in: Rolling Stone, No. 558 (August 10, 1989), pp. 58 - 66 and p. 102 → online https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news / keith-haring-just-say-know-71847 /
Published by Alexandra Matzner on August 20, 2020
Keith Haring (1958–1990) created his art in the context of the themes of the 1980s: the AIDS crisis, the Cold War, racism, the excesses of capitalism and environmental destruction. The Keith Haring exhibition includes around 70 works and is complemented by little-known photographs and stills.
Published by Alexandra Matznervon March 14, 2018
The Albertina is dedicating a comprehensive retrospective to Keith Haring (1958–1990), who would have turned 60 in 2018.
Published by Alexandra Matznervon March 10, 2018
The symbols developed by Keith Haring in the early 1980s as a universal visual language - from the “radiant baby” to the barking or dancing dog - are combined by the New York artist into a narrative about life and death. Dieter Buchhart, curator of the exhibition “Keith Haring. The Alphabet “in the Albertina. It was Haring's alphabet, according to Buchhart, that enabled him to share his socio-political concerns with a broader public.
Published by Alexandra Matzner on October 20, 2017
Large, memorable figures, trendy colors and moral content - this is how they describe almost all posters by Keith Haring (1958–1990). The artist, who worked in New York in the 1980s, found his characteristic style and a publicly accessible communication surface in legendary Subway Drawings. The place of his art is not the gallery, but the underground paths; Audience not a wealthy elite, but the broad masses. He knew how to prepare complex topics in such a way that they are apparently easy to understand.
Published by Alexandra Matzner on October 12, 2017
The "Velum" painted by Keith Haring (1958–1990) will be exhibited again on October 12, 2017 in the Stedelijk. The American artist painted the transparent fabric that filters the daylight in the large staircase for his solo exhibition in 1986.
Published by Alexandra Matzner on September 15, 2017
The artistic work of Keith Haring (1953–1990), with its comic-like characters, is one of the most popular artistic oeuvres in the world. During his short but intense career of only ten years, he exhibited in over 100 solo and group exhibitions during the 1980s. Keith Haring appealed to a wide audience when he dealt with the universal questions of being human: birth, death, love, sexuality and war. His primacy of the line, the large-scale, high-contrast colors and the directness of the statements guarantee a high recognition value to this day.