September 13 - October 30, 2006
Keith Haring
galerie jerome de noirmont

exhibition release


September 13 – October 30, 2006


As the representative in France of the Estate of Keith Haring, after three personal thematic exhibitions in tribute to the great American artist who passed away in 1990, the gallery is today pleased to organize an exhibition presenting Haring’s work in its globality.

An emblematic figure on the New York art scene of the 1980s, Keith Haring embodies, above all, the “popular” artist, the artist for whom art is intended for everyone and must be expressed everywhere. He painted on walls, tarpaulins or tarred canvases, on found objects or elements of decoration, on leather or cement, on plastic or metal, giving birth to a multi-form art with very varied works. He wished to create an iconography with a universal meaning, through works identifiable and understandable by all. This led him to define the figure of the Radiant Child, a human silhouette simplified to the extreme, embodying life, energy, joy and hope for the future, recognized today by all as Haring’s “hallmark”.
People understand my work that can be read like a picture book. I produce figures that are both simple and complex, like ideograms. Haring uses other simple and explicit symbols, always the same throughout his 12 years of art production: the dog (nature), flying saucers (higher power), computers and televisions (dehumanizing technology), the sticks (power), the snakes (energy or danger), the pyramids (ancient civilization and tradition), Mickey Mouse (popular culture).

The main work in the exhibition is a large mural painting (2.7 m x 4.2 m) executed in 1986 on a wall of a shop in Paris, Jouets & Cie, which has been shown only once before, in the retrospective The Keith Haring Show, at Milan’s Triennial Foundation in 2005. Composed of animal and child-like figures painted in black on a white background scattered with blotches of bright colours, it is a perfect example of the artist’s joy at using a child’s fun world for his artistic expression, overflowing with cheerfulness and energy, and constantly in movement.
A dozen or so works on paper will be presented, including some Subway drawings, drawings in white chalk on black paper executed in the New York subway in 1981, and other more recent drawings (1983 to 1990). Always made in a very graphic style, these works express the artist’s reactions facing the evolution of contemporary society. We’ll find a few of the drawings executed by Keith Haring during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1984.
This set of drawings will be completed by The Blueprint Drawings, a complete series of 17 large silkscreens on paper completed by early 1990, shortly before his death.

Started in 1985, sculpture constitutes a logical development in Haring’s art, and is like a 3-D coloured expression of his silhouettes with minimalist contours. Mainly stemming from dance movements, these figures seems to be “frozen” by a stroboscopic light, like Self-Portrait (1989). Despite their simple graphic style, they result from a complex conception, that of a very carefully designed balance of volumes and weights, as can be seen in Julia (1987), and of a play on between positive and negative spaces, as in Stacked Figures (1987).
Thanks to this adaptability of his line and drawing style, Haring could pass naturally from painting to sculpture, from surface to volume, and vice versa. Straddling this border line between painted, graved and sculpted work, we will see Untitled (3-D Pyramid), 1989, sculpture displayed with the series of the 4 original drawings that gave birth to it, and Untitled (Concrete Totem), 1989, a bas-relief on a concrete column.

Last section in this exhibition, Keith Haring’s furniture is a response to this desire to make art present everywhere in all moments of life. When Haring discovers drawing on plaster in 1989, he enthusiastically adopted this new medium. He completed several works including the trays of the Dining Table and of the Coffee Table, both executed in 1989 in bronze with coloured patina and pewter inlaid work.

It is this spirit of a universalist legacy that the exhibition will let you discover …

PRESS CONTACT : Emmanuelle de Noirmont, assisted by Ludyvine Travers
Tel : + 33 (0)1 42 89 89 00 / Fax : +33 (0)1 42 89 89 03 / e-mail :
In August, reachable only by phone : +33 (0)6 24 50 70 00
IMAGES 300 dpi available on request at he gallery.