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Elisabeth Sussman - Keith Haring

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298 pages
Text(s) by Elisabeth Sussman
32 x 30 cm
Language: French
Publisher: Evergreen

In 1980, mysterious chalk drawings of simple outline figures began appearing on unused advertising space in New York City subway stations. Combining the appeal of Disney cartoons with the sophisticated "primitivism" of such artists as Jean Dubuffet, these underground artworks were bold, humorous, accessible, subversive -- and unmistakably the work of one man, Keith Haring.

Over the next decade, Haring went on to create a body of work that would capture the energy and excitement of New York's brash street culture -- and transmute punk, new wave, hip-hop, graffiti art, and break dancing into an instantly recognizable pop iconography. He frequently bypassed the gallery scene, preferring to address people directly through drawings and paintings in public spaces and with mass-produced items based on his designs. By the time of his death from AIDS at age thirty-one in 1990, he had become New York's most celebrated artist since Andy Warhol.

Keith Haring is the first look back at this singular talent. Drawing on the definitive retrospective staged by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the book features 175 full-color reproductions of Haring's paintings, drawings, and sculptures -- including rare early drawings on black paper salvaged from the subways, and photographs that document site-specific works. Essays by Robert Farris Thompson, Ann Magnuson, David Frankel, Robert Pincus-Witten, and Jeffrey Deitch provide a critical overview, and interviews with Jellybean Benitez, Junior Vasquez, Fred Schneider, Fred Braithwaite, and other deejays and musicians help situate his work in New York's downtown culture of the 1980s. Keith Haring will be the ultimate book on this immensely popular artist --and the gift of the year for art lovers everywhere.