Contact: Matthew Hribar
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Akron, OH: The Akron Art Museum is pleased to announce that the exhibition Keith Haring: Against All Odds will be on view from April 15th. through September 24th, 2023. Organized by the Rubell Museum and the Akron Art Museum, this show will provide a sweeping overview of the height of Haring’s career and will include more than 110 original objects made between 1981 and 1990. The Rubell Museum holds one of the largest private Keith Haring collections in the world. Many of the works that will be on view at the Akron Art Museum were acquired by the Rubell Museum shortly after Haring created them and around the same time as they were first presented publicly.
Keith Haring’s career in art took off through chalk drawings in New York City subway stations and, during the 1980s, exploded into paintings, drawings, large-scale murals, fashion, and pop culture. The artist channeled his newfound popularity and his signature style of bold and energetic outlines into expressions of love and positivity. He also used his art to make political statements against war, environmental destruction, racism, and more, and to advocate for gay rights and AIDS awareness.
“The exhibition will highlight Haring’s commitments to art and politics, as well as his relationships with artistic peers like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. We are looking forward to sharing Keith Haring’s work, his ideas, and his personality with our visitors,” said Jeff Katzin, Ph.D., Curator for the Akron Art Museum.
In 1986, Haring opened his Pop Shop in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood selling shirts, posters, and other items to break down barriers between fine art and broad audiences. While many artists shy away from commercial enterprises, Haring was committed to making his art more accessible. The Museum will have an area that has been hand-painted by local artist Ron Copeland in the style of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop, providing an exciting, immersive environment for reflection, education, and programs.
Haring’s monumental painting of two figures dancing around a heart and his Statue of Liberty sculpture created with Angel Ortiz will be on view through May 14. After their limited time at the Akron Art Museum, they will head to the West Coast to join a traveling exhibition. These two works were part of Haring’s debut exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City in 1982. This was his first show at a commercial gallery, and the success of the exhibition cemented his place in the world of fine art. Two additional works, courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation, will be on view starting May 16.
“We are honored to be showcasing Keith Haring’s work on a grand scale here in Akron. His unique imagery is immediately recognizable around the globe, even for those who are not familiar with his story,” remarked Executive Director and CEO Jon Fiume.
Keith Haring: Against All Odds is organized by the Rubell Museum and the Akron Art Museum and is presented by an anonymous donor, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Bruce and Erica Greer Foundation, Dana Pulk Dickinson, John P. Murphy Foundation, The University of Akron, Acme Fresh Market, Mark and Katie Smucker, Akron Summit Convention & Visitor Bureau, Bo and Pam McMillen, The Richard & Alita Rogers Family Foundation, Ellen Botnick in Loving Memory of Lisa Botnick, and Welty with support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Lehner Family Foundation, Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, and Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust.
Press images are available for download below. Please use the corresponding credits.
Keith Haring, Untitled, 1981. Enamel on fiberboard. Collection of the Rubell Museum. Keith Haring copyright with the Keith Haring Foundation.
File Keith Haring, Untitled with LA II (1982) (2)
Keith Haring (Collaboration with LA II), Untitled, 1982. Acrylic and ink on fiberboard. Collection of the Rubell Museum. Keith Haring copyright with the Keith Haring Foundation.
File Keith Haring, Untitled (1982) Acrylic
Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984. Ink on leather. Collection of the Rubell Museum. Keith Haring copyright with the Keith Haring Foundation.
File Keith Haring, Untitled (1981)
Keith Haring, Untitled, 1982. Acrylic on vinyl tarpaulin. Collection of the Rubell Museum. Keith Haring copyright with the Keith Haring Foundation.
File Installation Of Pop Shop at AAM
Hand painted mural in Keith Haring’s Pop Shop style by artist Ron Copeland.
Image of the Akron Art Museum.
Keith Haring, Untitled with LA II (1982) (2)
Keith Haring, Untitled (1982) Acrylic