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Keith Haring at Lyon, Musée d'Art Contemporain

Until 20 june 2008

Keith Haring would have been happy to see all these kids in front of his works. Until the end of June, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon offers a wonderful retrospective on three floors of the work of the painter New York, died at 31 years, which saw the recognition of his lifetime but remained absent until museums until'To his death in 1990.
This is an error corrected with this facility that traces his career since his arrival in New York for 19 years, in underground New York alongside Basquiat, Futura 2000, Madonna, Andy Warhol and William Burroughs, until the creation of its own place and the discovery of HIV. Originally from Pennsylvania, Haring began to draw, with his father, but the revelation is in 1977, during an exhibition of Pierre Alechinsky in Pittsburg, where he studied. He also decides to free his line, to make it fluid. 1977, the year of punk, democratization of music, no future, but also the rush hour tag on subway trains in New York… In the graffiti, Keith Haring, a little boy with strange attitude never really be there, found brothers. They share the same route continuous, the same speed. But Haring did not seek him, to become the king of New York, or to circulate his signature in the five districts of the city. Rather than painting on trains, he prefers to draw on the subway platforms to chalk white, or on advertising spaces covered with black paper while waiting to be sold.  Already the foundations of his speech are raised, with his objects totems, his lexicon, his bestiary : pyramids, a symbol of the history of television to denounce the mass culture, angels who try to place itself above the melee, men-headed dogs, radiant babies to signify life, energy, and scenes that already denounced racism, imaged by a white man injuring a Black. "But very quickly admirers or speculators off his drawings. Because his wish to invite everyone to see his images, is no longer respected, he stopped painting in the metro. "  Keith Haring uses the furniture, surfaces trucks bins, walls, and opens his Pop Shop, sort of shop-museum kit and wood. In the shop he had created in Japan, reconstituted in Lyon, one enters a enfilant slippers so as not to damage the soil drawings, it buys badges, stickers… All profits are donated to his foundation for Childhood.  In the same way, he organizes exhibitions in unusual places, like the 57 Club where all the gratin and the underground East Village meet. On the third floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, photos show the artist plays against playing with Madonna in its infancy, Brooke Shields, Jean-Paul Gauthier, Caroline of Monaco…  A video that recalls Keith Harring painted without preparatory sketches, paving only its music cassettes and its colors. Like Matisse, he kept everything, as shown by the twelve oils on a steel plate he painted continuously from 1980 to 1985. His last works, marked by the loss of friends died of overdoses (Basquiat) or AIDS, before being himself reached, are increasingly violent, but always turned to light. "I love life," said the kid with lunar round glasses.

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