The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in association with Le CentQuatre, is devoting a wide-ranging retrospective to American artist Keith Haring (1958 – 1990). The exhibition will bear witness to the importance of Haring's work, in particular its profoundly "political" content, apparent in his work throughout his career.

Almost 250 pictures on canvas and tarpaulins and from subway walls – as well as twenty monumental works – will be exhibited at Le CentQuatre and at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, making this one of the largest presentations of Keith Haring’s works ever. Le CentQuatre exhibits the artist's monumental works. These tarpaulins or sculptures are large in size or volume and most of them have never been shown in Paris.

They cover themes based on political issues. Monumental sculptures over 5 metres high and weighing several tons, and backdrop like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, measuring 7x11 meters, will be exhibited next to the Pop Shop, a real shop that Keith Haring imagined for Tokyo in 1988. All these works are very powerful and the fact that they are exhibited at Le CentQuatre achieves one of Keith Haring goals, i.e. he always wanted his work to be popular and accessible to all.

Keith Haring was one of the most well-known artists of his time, and even today his inimitable style and repertoire of emblematic signs remains familiar to all. Beginning with Documenta 7 in 1982, his work has been exhibited alongside that of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jenny Holzer and Daniel Buren, as well in museums and biennials around the world.

Keith Haring, a virtuoso draughtsman - even as a child he drew endlessly - studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Endowed with a genius for line, he was a fast, tireless and enormously prolific worker who frequently produced his works while listening to music. He worked on all kinds of surfaces and made use of contemporary media, even going as far as selling merchandise in his famous Pop Shop from 1986 onwards.

The political messages and ideas he communicated were not only a part of his legacy; they have had a very real influence on other artists and on society. His "subway drawings", paintings, works on paper and sculptures speak of social justice, individual freedom and change. A subversive, militant Pop icon, Haring was committed to social causes throughout his life: even when very young, he was driven by an urge to change the world.

Consciously and frequently choosing the street and public spaces to make contact with the widest possible audience, he fought indefatigably against racism, capitalism, violence and injustice in all their forms, with a particular emphasis on apartheid in South Africa, the threat of nuclear war, the destruction of the environment, homophobia and the AIDS epidemic (diagnosed HIV-positive in 1988, he established a charitable foundation, dedicated in part to helping those affected by AIDS and HIV). The layout of the exhibition provides a narrative of Haring’s socio-political obsessions.

Paris was unquestionably the place for this major exhibition. After taking part in the Figuration Libre France/USA show presented in 1984 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, together with Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others, Haring became attached to the city and often stayed, worked and exhibited there.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11 avenue du Président Wilson
Paris 75116 France
Ph. +33 01 53674000

Opening hours
Exhibition open 10am - 6pm Tuesday to Sunday
Late-night opening on Thursday until 10pm

Le CentQuatre
5 rue Curial
Paris 75019 France
Ph. +33 01 53355000

Opening hours
Tuesday to Sunday: 1pm-7pm

Full rate €8 / concessions €5 / subscribers €3
Upon presentation of your ticket, you will pay less at the other exhibition centre to visit the second part of the show

Related images

  • Keith Haring, The 10 Commandments 1985 533,4 x 762 cm Enamel and acrylic on canvas 17.5 x 25 feet © Keith Haring Foundation, NY Collection: Keith Haring Foundation
  • Keith Haring, Untitled (Stacked Figures), 1986 Acier peint 610 x 300 x200 cm Painted Aluminum Sculptures 240,16 x 118,11 x 78,74 In. Photo : DR © Keith Haring Foundation, NY Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris
  • Keith Haring, The 10 Commandments 1985 533,4 x 762 cm Enamel and acrylic on canvas 17.5 x 25 feet © Keith Haring Foundation, NY Collection: Keith Haring Foundation
  • Keith Haring, Untitled, 25 août 1983, Collection particulière, Courtesy Enrico Navarra, New York, © Keith Haring Foundation
  • Keith Haring, Untitled,1982 Collection de Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi. United Arab Emirates © Keith Haring Foundation
  • Keith Haring, Untitled , 1984, May 27 238,8 x 238,8 cm 94 x 94 inches © Keith Haring Foundation, NY