Anyone who enjoys the whimsical work of Keith Haring will want to get to the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit, “Keith Haring: 1978: 1982” includes 155 of his early works on paper, 30 of his black-and-white subway drawings and seven videos. It also includes journals and documentary photographs of his. The exhibit has been co-coordinated with the Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center and the Kunsthalle Wien in Austria.
The exhibit covers just his early years, from when he was 20 until 24 and is arranged chronologically to take viewers through his early years. As project curator Tricia Laughlin Bloom said,
“One of the great things about this show is you see he’s interested in these essential abstract forms and then working them out on a bigger scale.”
The exhibit helps those interested in Haring’s work to see where much of his inspiration came from, and to understand his style more deeply. As Raphaela Platow, curator of the exhibition, explained,
“Very few people are aware that Keith Haring started out as an abstract artist, that he did all of these geometric abstractions … and also considered video as a medium.”
He actually spent an entire year in 1979 doing work that was based on language. As Platow explained, “The whole idea of linguistics played a major role in his work.”
Haring was constantly using the city as a canvas for his creative expression. Part of the exhibit space includes 30 subway drawings that he would create before police could issue him a summons. They weren’t meant to be saved, but they give some insight into his thought-process, his sense of humor and his feelings.
The exhibition also includes flyers and press releases that Haring created to promote show sin clubs and other alternative spaces. As Laughlin Bloom said,
“They’re little gems in themselves.”
And so, too, is the entire exhibit. It runs through July 8th and is a must-see for anyone who enjoys whimsical expression and Haring’s work. The exhibition runs through July 8.