The James. A Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St. in Doylestown, is presenting “Keith Haring: A Radiant Legacy,” an exhibition of more than 100 unique and notable works from a private collection, on view March 12-July 31. Included in the exhibition are two rare subway drawings, complete suites of many of the artist’s icon print series and Medusa Head (the largest print in the artist’s oeuvre).
Haring (1958-1990) was arguably the most accomplished and prominent American artist of the 1980s. Born in Reading and raised in Kutztown, Haring developed an early love for drawing. Through his friendship with artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he became interested in the colorful graffiti art of city streets, which would influence his meteoric rise. Working in a variety of mediums, including paintings, prints, posters, drawings, sculpture and street art, Haring developed a style that was instantly recognizable.
During his brief 10-year career, Haring rewrote the rulebook for contemporary art, integrating the seemingly discrete arenas of New York City’s gritty downtown counterculture and uptown art aristocracy. A friend of Andy Warhol’s, Haring unabashedly developed and promoted his own brand through commercial partnerships, mass market products and even his own storefront. Equally important was his social justice activism, raising awareness of AIDS and fighting against racism and the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“Haring had deep ties to this region, so it’s very exciting to showcase this impressive collection of his work at the museum and introduce his socially and politically engaged work to new audiences,” said chief curator Laura Igoe.
Throughout his career, Haring was featured in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions and produced over 50 public works of art in cities around the world. Many of his works were designed for charities, hospitals, daycare centers and orphanages. Over 900 children participated in a mural creation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. He also designed 85 posters with a pictorial language, direct messages and universal appeal that still resonate today.
Visit michenerartmuseum.org/ for more information.