Pace Prints, in cooperation with the Keith Haring Foundation, is pleased to present its first exhibition of prints and small-scale multiples by Keith Haring. The exhibition focuses on editioned works created between 1983 and 1990.
Printmaking was an essential part of Haring’s work. He believed in the inherent democracy of creating limited editions that could extend the reach of his imagery in an attainable and affordable manner. Haring was as fascinated by the process of printmaking as he was with any medium he tackled, and he worked hands-on with numerous print publishers in the USA, Europe and Japan. In the course of his 10-year career, Haring created over 60 separate and distinct editions on paper using a variety of methods including lithograph, silk-screen, etching, embossing and aquatint. Ever prolific, Haring also created small-scale multiples in aluminum, wood, concrete and terracotta, several of which are also on view.
Highlights of the exhibition are works from The Blueprint Drawings, 1990, a series of 17 silk-screens based on Sumi ink drawings Keith completed in 1980-81. The imagery in these works presages the iconic language associated with Keith Haring ever after - images of a pyramid, flying saucer, dog and crawling baby are intermixed with wandering figures and human/animal/extraterrestrial activities. This intentional juxtaposition of his “icons” conjures up different meanings, relationships and narratives, taking some inspiration from the “cut up” methods of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. The largest work in the exhibition, Untitled, 1986, a large-scale print depicting a hydra-like creature is known to be one of the rarest in Haring’s oeuvre. This etching was done in a small edition of 24.
The exhibition will also include a special Pop Shop installation. The original Pop Shop, founded by Haring in 1986, operated in downtown Manhattan for nearly 20 years. Haring viewed the store as an extension of his work, a unique venue where his imagery could be accessible to everyone. In keeping with his vision, the Pop Shop installation at Pace Prints will feature a recreation of the Pop Shop mural environment. In addition to artwork, the Pop Shop installation will feature pieces from two of the Keith Haring Foundation’s recent collaborations: Keith Haring by Nicholas Kirkwood, haute couture footwear by the shooting-star British shoe designer, Nicholas Kirkwood; and Keith Haring by Patricia Field, apparel and accessories designed by the celebrated New York stylist and fashion designer, Patricia Field.
Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, PA. In 1978, Haring moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. It was here that he found a thriving alternative art community that was developing outside of the gallery and museum system, with events and exhibitions taking place in the downtown streets, subways and nightclubs. In 1990, at the age of 31, Keith Haring died of AIDS-related illnesses in New York. Since his death, his work has been the subject of several international retrospectives. His work is in major private and public collections including The Museum of Modern Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Bass Museum, Miami; Centre Georges Pompidou and Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. The exhibition Keith Haring: 1978-1982, most recently on view at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and co-organized by Kunsthalle Wien, will open at the Brooklyn Museum in March 2012.