Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.
The exhibition chronicles the period in Haring’s career from his arrival in New York City through the years when he started his studio practice and began making public and political art on the city streets. Immersing himself in New York’s downtown culture, he quickly became a fixture on the artistic scene, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. The critical role that these relationships played in Haring’s development as a public artist and facilitator of group exhibitions and performances is also explored.
Pieces on view include a number of very early works never before seen in public; seven video pieces, Tribute to Gloria Vanderbilt; and collages created from cut-up fragments of his own writing, history textbooks, and newspapers.
One of the highlights of the show, is the afore mentioned short video entitled Painting Myself into a Corner.
During his time at the School of Visual Arts, Haring began exploring the possibility of video as a medium and extension of his painting process. In this, his first video, he paints rhythmically to the pulsating beat of the band Devo, whose music becomes the soundtrack to the video. This piece illuminates the close relationship between the physicality of the artist, the act of painting, and the final product. Haring viewed himself as such an integral part of his art that he literally paints himself into the piece—in effect cornering himself in his own aesthetic world.
GrandLife will be checking the show on the Brooklyn Museum TUMBLR which will feature a picture per day, every day that the show is on.
KEITH HARING 1978-1982 begins on March 16th and finishes on July 8th 2012.