Together with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring has become one of the artists’ most recognizable and representative of the American art scene in the 1980’s. He started his work through the Subway Drawings, a series of graffiti art on matte black pieces of paper which functioned to cover up unused advertisement panels in the corridors and hallways of subway stations. His drawings were easily understood, accessible, and relatable, becoming enormously popular among the subway commuters and making Keith Haring famous overnight.
From 1980 to 1986, Haring participated in one exhibition after another, gaining international acclaim. He also became very active in a variety of media, spanning the creation of an animated billboard illustration in New York’s Time Square, to stage designs, and to the opening of his Pop Shop selling Keith Haring merchandise and goods. He was also involved in creating murals and wall paintings, as well as organizing art workshops all over the world. These events frequently were for children, for charity, and for special social causes. Haring also exhibited his works, organized workshop events, and created a branch of the Pop Shop in Japan.
Keith Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and established the Keith Haring Foundation the following year. Until his death in 1990 at the age of 31, Haring was actively involved in AIDS prevention campaigns through his art.
Born on May 4th in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Moves to New York and enrolls in the School of visula Arts.
Starts Subway Drawings using white chalk on unused advertising panels.
First solo exhibition at the Westbeth Painters Space
Solo exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Soho.
Participates in several international art shows such as Documenta 7 in Kassel.
First visit to Japan.
Participates in the Whitney Biennial.
Participates in he Venice Biennial.
Paints murals in many countries including Australia and Brazil.
Solo exhibition at Paradise Garage.
Participates in the Paris Biennial.
Exhibits large scale sculptures at a flagship gallery Leo Castelli.
Opens Pop Shop in Soho.
Exhibits at Art Against AIDS in New York.
Creates a mural at Parthenon Tama with 500 children in Tama, Tokyo, Japan.
Opens Pop Shop Tokyo in Tokyo.
Diagnosed with AIDS.
Establishes the Keith Haring Foundation.
Dies on February 16th in his apartment in Greenwich Village.
On May 4th, a memorial service was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.