Exhibitions 2016

Keith Haring : Growing -Evolving Forms-

Sun., April 24th, 2016 → Tue., January 31th, 2017

Special Thanks:Keith Haring Foundation

Supported by


Yamanashi Prefecture

Yamanashi Board of Education

Hokuto City

Hokuto City Board of Education

My paintings to derive essential forms and shapes that are interesting individually-Keith Haring
In this exhibition, we explore Keith Haring’s evolving art and the propagation of his messages following the path of his career.
In 1978, Haring moved to New York from Pennsylvania to attend the School of Visual Arts as a scholarship student. In the center of this cultural melting pot, he was ready to absorb the energy of the city and explored his own identity as well as his art. Influenced by various artists including Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Alechinsky and Christo, he extended his work from drawing to the streets. In the 1980’s, he started the Subway Drawings, which became widely known; he used white chalk to draw on unused advertisement boards of New York City’s subway stations. He began to organize exhibitions and performances at Club 57—the iconic Radiant Baby was born here—and other alternative venues such as Times Square Show. Through his participation in international shows, his success rapidly grew on an international scale, and in 1983 his first visit to Japan ignited a sensation all over the country.
After 1986, Haring was ever eager to further develop forms of his art. His signature-like bold lines, repeated patterns and simplified figures kept reinventing the forms. In 1987, he made a carousel filled with his icons and symbols for a project called Luna Luna where several artists teamed up in Hamburg, Germany. This work testifies the growth of his forms. 1988, the year he was diagnosed with AIDS, was the turning point of his life. Growing is a series of five works published in 1988 by the well-established gallery, the Martin Lawrence Limited Editions. In the same year, Haring collaborated with a poet William S. Burroughs for a series called Apocalypse: a portrayal of agnosticism and chaos in life. In contrast to this powerful collaboration, Growing became an elegant oeuvre with its symmetrical figures, intricate shapes and tribal glyph-like patterns. Haring carried on this theme in Totem (1989), a concrete sculpture. Untitled (Triangle), 1988 is a triangular shaped canvas painting made for his 5th and last show at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. The work was painted with techniques that he had developed, which consists contrasts of colors and a balance of space unlike his other all over paintings. He accomplished this well-calculated work using geometric shapes. The Triangle, a masterpiece saturated with individual forms, transcends the time and continues to expand the meaning of Keith Haring’s message.

Past Exhibitions