The smaller works (but by no means small) are at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in the 16th arrondisement. In total, this retrospective has over 250 works including some painted by Keith Haring when he was at the Musée d’Art Moderne in 1984.
American artist Keith Haring who died at only 32 had a significant impact on the development of global street art and this exhbition gives an incredible insight into the development of his practice and his role in society in the 1980’s when he did most of his work. Keith Haring painted his distinctive images on all types of surfaces and places – canvas, tarpaulin, metal beams, vases, paper, in the NY subways.
Keith Haring was one of the first contemporary artists to choose the street and public spaces to make contact with the widest possible audience – there’s some of his original subway works in this exhibition. The layout of the exhibition provides a narrative of the social issues that Haring campaigned against - racism, capitalism, violence, injustice, apartheid in South Africa, the threat of nuclear war, destruction of the environment, homophobia and the AIDS epidemic.
The large works including the sculptures are showing at le Centquartre, a large scale arts venue in a 19th century building that originally housed Paris’ municipal undertakers. When you see the scale of these works including the Ten Commandments, you understand the extent of Haring’s work and his total commitment to pop culture and street art and reaching as many people as possible with his political message through art.
This is a huge exhibition that impresses not only because of the scale but also the absolute clarity about Keith Haring’s role in contemporary art and how his influence continues today in how the crossover between art and popular culture. It’s on in Paris at Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville De Paris and le Centrequartre in 19th arrondissement until 18 August 2013.