About the Exhibition
Keith Haring on Park Avenue represents the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s monumental sculptures designed and created from 1985 to 1989. The exhibit is one of the largest of public sculpture ever to be mounted in New York City, and includes three artworks that have never before been seen in a public venue in the United States.
The works come from various sources including sculptures first exhibited at Leo Castelli’s Greene Street Gallery in 1985 and at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations in 1986. Sculptures have also generously been lent from the collection of Hans Mayer in Dusseldorf, Germany; the Estate of Keith Haring; Martin and Janet Blinder; and Elliot K. Wolk.
Keith Haring (1958-1990, b. Reading, PA) first achieved notoriety in the early 1980s when he appropriated the slate-like panels used for advertising posters in the New York City subway for rapidly executed chalk drawings. By 1984 he had brought his underground art aboveground to street level and into some of the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries. Critic and curator Germano Celant explained, “The instant appeal of Haring’s art was rooted in his invention of an ingeniously eloquent iconography for a media-friendly age, with an immediately recognizable vocabulary of images—radiant child, barking dog, flying saucer—and such resonant symbols as the halo, the cross, the pyramid and the heart.” By the time of his death in 1990 from AIDS-related illnesses, Haring’s popular art had earned him the admiration of a huge international public including children, social activists, media celebrities and key figures in the art world.