Keith Haring: The Political Line
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116, Paris
19 April - 18 August
From the Press Release
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in association with Le CENTQUATRE, is devoting a retrospective to American artist Keith Haring (1958-1990). The exhibition will bear witness to the importance of Haring’s work, in particular its profoundly “political” content, apparent in his work throughout his career.
Almost 250 pictures on canvas and tarpaulins and from subway walls - as well as twenty monumental works - will be exhibited at Le CENTQUATRE, making this one of the largest presentations of Keith Haring’s works ever.
Keith Haring was one of the most well known artists of his time, and even today his inimitable style, with its strong, graphic line and repertoire of emblematic signs, remains familiar to all. Beginning with Documenta 7 in 1982, his work was exhibited alongside that of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jenny Holzer and Daniel Buren, as well as in museums and biennials around the world.
Haring studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Endowed with a genius for line, this virtuoso draughtsman - even as a child he drew endlessly - worked rapidly, tirelessly and was enormously prolific, frequently making work to the accompaniment of music. He worked on all kinds of surfaces and his response to contemporary media included disseminating reproductions of his imagery on merchandise, via his New York retail store, the Pop Shop, which he opened in 1986.
The political messages and ideas he communicated were not only a part of his legacy; they have had a very real influence on other artists and on society. His “subway drawings” paintings, works on paper and sculptures speak of social justice, individual freedom and change. A subversive, militant Pop icon, Haring was committed to social causes throughout his life: even when very young, he was driven by an urge to change the world.
Paris is a suitable home for this major exhibition. After taking part in the Figuration Libre France/USA show presented in 1984 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, together with Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others, Haring became attached to the city and often stayed, worked and exhibited there.