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Keith Haring, Ignorance = Fear 1989
“Ignorance = Fear”, 1989Keith Haring. Courtesy of Tate Liverpool. Collection Emmanuelle and Jérôme de Noirmont

The first major UK Keith Haring exhibition is coming to Liverpool

Tate Liverpool will show more than 85 artworks of the famed artist and activist

In June 2019, Tate Liverpool will host the first major UK exhibition of iconic artist and activist Keith Haring. The eponymously titled show will display more than 85 Haring artworks including paintings, drawings, photographs, and videos that witness the 1980s underground New York street culture that Haring embodied. “Keith Haring and Liverpool have much in common,” explains Tate Liverpool’s director Helen Legg in the show’s press release. “They’re both politically engaged with a history of activism, a strong sense of social justice and a love of music and fashion.” 

Haring publicly came out when homosexuality in the 80s was still taboo: against the conservative backdrop of the US, he became one of the century’s most prolific artists. Activism played a crucial role in Haring’s art. A spokesman for his generation, his art answers to crucial issues such as political dictatorship, racism, homophobia, drug addiction, Aids awareness, capitalism and the environment. Inspired by pop art and club culture, Haring worked with now-established but then-provocative artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, sharing the aim in creating art for the people. He also collaborated with pop icons Madonna, Grace Jones, Vivienne Westwood, and Malcolm McLaren.

The American artist died in 1990 aged just 31 due to complications from Aids. Before dying, he founded The Keith Haring Foundation which supports non-profit organisations that assist children, as well as organisations involved in education, research and care related to Aids. The organisation is still profoundly committed to social change and collaborated with Tate Liverpool in setting up the exhibition.

Keith Haring will run from 19 June 2019 – 10 November 2019 at Tate Liverpool. You can book tickets here.