Keith Haring - Heaven and Hell
23/09/2001 – 06/01/2002
Opening on September 22, 2001, 6 p.m.
Press conference on September 20, 2001, 11 a.m.
The American painter, graphic artist, and sculptor,
Keith Haring, is one of the most popular artists of
our time. Eleven years after his death, his works still
have a significant impact on the general public.
Haring’s immediately recognizable figures, such as
the logos of stylised, radiating dogs and babies, have
become part of our visual culture. It was his Pop Shop,
which he opened 1986 in New York that enabled him to promote
his motifs far beyond the limits of the art scene. Thus, for
once it is particularly important to bring the less well-known
and stylistically utterly diverse Keith Haring into focus.
The Karlsruhe exhibition attempts to do this with the
presentation of over 80 of his works (paintings and drawings).
From the very beginning Keith Haring dealt with the
meaning of death, violence, and sin, of power, religion,
and redemption. The theme of sexuality also repeatedly
challenged him to create new images. Another focal point
of his artwork is the depiction of the individual as part
of the anonymous mass or as an isolated figure standing
against it. The confrontation with the immune deficiency
disease AIDS, to which he succumbed at the age of 31, is also
the theme of many pictures and drawings. It is only from this
perspective that we can fully comprehend Keith Haring’s
life-affirming and colourful "icons” as alternative images of hope.
The core of the exhibition consists of rarely shown and
partly extremely large paintings from the Estate of
Keith Haring (New York) and from American collections.
In addition to the stage set to "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”
(for the Ballet National de Marseille, 1984) the
series "Ten Commandments” from 1985 and the decorations
for the New York club "The Palladium” are also being shown.
A richly illustrated publication with texts by
David Galloway, Ulrike Gehring, Ralph Melcher, Andreas
Schalhorn und Giorgio Verzotti accompanies the exhibition.