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Dance Insider & Arts Voyager editor and publisher Paul Ben-Itzak, who has also written for Reuters, the New York Times, and many others and also publishes Art Investment News, is looking for work in France, where he lived and worked for 10 years. He is ready to include his magazines in any deal. Interested parties can e-mail Paul.


Arts Voyager Gallery, 8-16: The Political Line
Keith Haring in Paris

Keith Haring, June 1989. Photograph copyright Philippe Bonan.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

The monographic Keith Haring exhibition which closes this week-end at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris (it's also been running at the Centquatre) singularly rescues the signature New York artist of the 1980s from play-land by deliberately placing and arraying the work -- in this case, nearly 250 oeuvres executed on canvas, tarpaulins, and even subway walls -- in the context of the political engagements that mattered to Haring, as the kid who arrived from Pennsylvania and Holly Golightly-like sketched penises in front of Tiffany's grew into and framed the increasingly harrowing world around him, addressing threats to the environment, Apartheid, racism, the spectre of nuclear war, homophobia, and the AIDS epidemic which would take his own life at the age of 31 in 1990. It's a needed reminder that the apparently fanciful expression, so often imitated since by a generation of gobbling Chelsea regurgitators, distilled a much more considered response to his times. Signifying Haring's particular attachment to the City of Light, in April Sotheby's in Paris, in conjunction with the Keith Haring Foundation, even auctioned off some of his work to help pay for the restoration of a mural Haring painted on a wall of the city's University Necker - Enfants Malades hospital.

In all, the exhibition reveals the textural density and intellectual and art-historical depth behind the deceptively simple line of Haring's figures and the pronounced colors of his palette. Herewith a sampling.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," April 9, 1985. Personal collection. Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," September 1982. Personal collection. Vinyl painting on vinyl tarp, 182.8 x 182.8 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," 1982. BvB collection, Geneva. Sumi ink on paper, 96.5 x 127 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "A Pile of Crowns for Jean-Michel Basquiat," 1988. Collection Keith Haring Foundation. Acrylic on canvas, 304.8 x 304.8 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Andy Mouse - New Coke," 1985. Courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska. Acrylic on canvas, 303.5 x 296.5 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," 1984. Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris. Acrylic on wood. Two panels, 408 x 352 cm (ensemble). Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," January 16, 1981. Collection Sender. Ink on velin paper, 105.4 x 137.2 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, Untitled, 1980. Collection of the Keith Haring Foundation. Ink on cardboard, 121.9 x 230.2 cm Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," 1982. Courtesy Keith Haring Foundation and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Sumi ink on paper, 271.8 x 406.4 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "The Tree of Monkeys," 1984. Courtesy Orsi Foundation. Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Keith Haring, "Untitled," 1982. Personal collection. Vinyl paint on vinyl tarp. 304.8 x 304.8 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


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