Dec 11
The Keith Haring’s alphabet, or of how pictures can function just like words - 2 PDF Печат Е-поща
Петък, 16 Март 2018г. 10:42ч.

‘Keith Haring. The Alphabet’ - exhibition view. Photo: © artnovini.comCommunication and Humanism

Keith Haring’s picture-word system was something like a predecessor to today’s emojis: his smiley faces as well as his hearts, his stylized globe, and his other ideograms aren’t that far off from the miniature graphics that we send on our smartphones today. After all, the desire for a universal system of communication is something that our Internet age, Keith Haring’s ideograms, and ancient hieroglyphics all have in common. Haring’s involvement in the struggles against drugs, against AIDS, and for a fairer, better world for all people, as well as his obsession with drawing in public places from New York, Paris, and Tokyo to the Berlin Wall, found expression in his works and symbols, which have by now become part of our everyday popular culture. His „urban guerrilla art” pushes back against ignorance, fear, and silence, remaining in one’s memory like a beneficial, humanistic virus.

The exhibition Keith Haring. The Alphabet is curated by Dr. Dr. Dieter Buchhart and Elsy Lahner, Albertina.

Exhibition view - Gottfried Helnwein, ‘Keith Haring (from the series Faces)’, 1989/2014; Black-and-white print on baryta paper, mounted to aluminium Dibond. The Albertina Museum, Vienna © Gottfried Helnwein. Photo: * * *


Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was raised in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel; 1904-1991) and Walt Disney (1901-1966).

Upon graduation from high school in 1976, Haring enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, a commercial arts school. He soon realized that he had little interest in becoming a commercial graphic artist and, after two semesters, dropped out. While in Pittsburgh, Haring continued to study and work on his own and in 1978 had a solo exhibition of his work at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center.

Energy and dynamics in Fluorescent works. ‘Keith Haring. The Alphabet’ - exhibition view. Photo: © artnovini.comLater that same year, his arrival in New York to attend the School of Visual Arts. In New York, Haring found a thriving alternative art community that was developing outside the gallery and museum system, in the downtown streets, the subways and spaces in clubs and former dance halls. Haring was swept up in the energy and spirit of this scene and began to organize and participate in exhibitions and performances at Club 57 and other alternative venues.

In addition to being impressed by the innovation and energy of his contemporaries, Haring was also inspired by the work of Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Pierre Alechinsky (1927), William Burroughs (1914-1997), Brion Gysin (1916-1986) and Robert Henri’s (1865-1929) manifesto The Art Spirit (1923), which asserted the fundamental independence of the artist. With these influences Haring was able to push his own youthful impulses toward a singular kind of graphic expression based on the primacy of the line. Also drawn to the public and participatory nature of Christo’s work, in particular Running Fence, and by Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) unique fusion of art and life, Haring was determined to devote his career to creating a truly public art…

Keith Haring, ‘Andy Mouse’, 1985; acrylic on canvas. Photo: Private collection © The Keith Haring FoundationKeith Haring was an educated and engaged artist who was gripped by the energy and spirit of the scenes he found himself in, together with many of his inspiring contemporaries, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Francesco Clemente (1952), George Condo (1957), Eric Haze, Crash (John Matos; 1961), LA II (Angel Ortiz; 1967), Kenny Scharf (1958), John Ahearn (1951) and Rammellzee (to name but a few). His discipline and passion for working, often in public spaces, led him to organise and participate in exhibitions and live performances in clubs, even dressing Madonna and body-painting Grace Jones for performances at the famous Paradise Garage nightclub. He was also inspired by the work of his predecessors, including Picasso (1881-1973), Fernand Leger (1881-1955), Stuart Davis (1892-1964), Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Pierre Alechinsky (1927) and William Burroughs (1914-1997); by the public and participatory work of Christo (1935); and by Andy Warhol’s unique symbiosis of art and life. Keith Haring was determined to dedicate his career to creating a truly public art.

‘Keith Haring. The Alphabet’ - exhibition view. Photo: © artnovini.comHaring’s career spanned one short but intense decade. His work was presented in over 100 solo exhibitions during the 1980s. Haring was simultaneously active in the public sphere. He completed over fifty murals in dozens of cities all over the world, many of which were created in hospitals and children’s homes. At the time of his death at 31 years of age, Haring had achieved international fame, not only as an artist, but also as an activist. In the final years of his life, he used his fame to promote awareness in the struggle against AIDS, and, in an effort to minimize the stigma associated with this illness, he spoke openly about his HIV status.

‘Keith Haring. The Alphabet’ - exhibition view. Photo: © artnovini.comIn 1989, he established the Keith Haring Foundation. To this day, in accordance with Haring's clearly stated philanthropic goals, the Keith Haring Foundation supports organisations that provide educational opportunities to underprivileged youth and organisations that engage in education, prevention and care with respect to AIDS and HIV infection.

Keith Haring died of AIDS related complications at the age of 31 on February 16, 1990. A memorial service was held on May 4, 1990 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, with over 1,000 people in attendance.

Since his death, Haring has been the subject of several international retrospectives. The work of Keith Haring can be seen today in the exhibitions and collections of major museums around the world.

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Последна промяна от Петък, 16 Март 2018г. 11:45ч.