Monday, May 23, 2011

Keith Haring Show @ NY's Barbara Gladstone Gallery Sheds Light On The Artist's Stay In Pittsburgh

Gladstone's 21st space had a very pleasant surprise. The show was centered around two large Haring drawings from of his mature style (1982)--but the real interesting part was the long tables of notebook drawings dated from 1978 in the period he was an unknown 19 year old "drop out" from the Ivy School of Commercial Art in Pittsburgh and the time he first arrived in New York City.

notes on the margins--

"At the Nexus Cafe/ Pittsburgh 1977"

"The First Drawing At The Mattress Factory"

"January 1978 in Steel City Snowstorm"

"At the laundromat on Atwood again."

"At The Carnegie Museum of Art"

"Study Two-Forbes Field Revisited"

"Bieber Bus Drawing to NY City"

Haring's stay in Pittsburgh was short, but given that his overall growth was so rapid, it looks like a period worthy of a fuller exploration. Don't get me wrong, these works have a value and interest that goes beyond their historical value.

Upon graduation from high school in 1976, Haring enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, a commercial arts school. He soon realized that he had little interest in becoming a commercial graphic artist and, after two semesters, dropped out. While in Pittsburgh, Haring continued to study and work on his own and in 1978 had a solo exhibition of his work at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center.

Keith Haring

Gladstone Gallery

530 West 21st New York

May 4 - July 1, 2011

Update--someone responded with a tweet saying that Haring did a work in a Pittsburgh bathroom that was painted over. Anyone know anything about this?

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