In cooperation with the Keith Haring Foundation, Pace Prints is pleased to present Keith Haring, on view from November 14—December 24, 2014. There will be an opening reception Thursday, November 13, 6-8pm.
Keith Haring highlights the artist’s black and white compositions, prime examples of his purity of line and energetic process. Exhibited for the first time is Retrospect (1989), comprised of twenty-four images from Haring’s Pop Shop series in a rare edition of 10. Also on view is the lithograph Dog, (1985), in which Haring’s signature creature becomes the structure to house an assortment of televisions, angels, devils and autonomous creatures addressing life, power and chaos.
The largest print in the artist’s oeuvre, Untitled (1986), depicts a hydra-like figure, whose head of tentacles morphs into individual bodies. Abandoning conventions of Western pictorial language, Haring’s aggressively flat, lineament-al Stones (Portfolio) (1989) is unique for its use of negative space as line, and points to the influence of pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican and Aboriginal art on the artist’s work.
Also featured are two documentation videos from 1979, Painting Himself into a Corner and Circle Play, which speak to the performative nature of Haring’s practice and illustrate the fluidity of his line. In a Flash Art text from 1984, Haring described his art-making process as, “Total control with no control at all. The artist becomes a vessel to let the world pour through him.”
Of the thousands of works on paper created between 1978 and Haring’s untimely death in 1990, only a relatively small percentage were limited edition prints. The Keith Haring exhibition includes several behind-the-scenes photographs of Haring creating works in various printmaking studios around the world.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Keith Haring Foundation, established by Haring in 1989 to ensure that his philanthropic and artistic legacy would continue indefinitely. The mission of the Keith Haring Foundation is to sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals. The Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, research and care related to AIDS.
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 there that he found a thriving alternative art community 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 Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. The exhibition Keith Haring: 1978-1982, organized by the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (CAC), premiered at the Kunsthalle Wien in 2010, traveled to the CAC in 2011 and to the Brooklyn Museum in 2012. Keith Haring: The Political Line, curated by Dieter Buchhart, was on view at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and Le Centquatre in 2013. The U.S. debut of the exhibition, also curated by Dieter Buchhart in collaboration with Julian Cox, is now at the de Young Museum: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, November 8, 2014—February 16, 2015. Later in the year, the show will continue on to the Kunsthalle Munich and Kunsthal Rotterdam.