Everyone loves a world premiere, particularly when it involves two of the most significant, influential artists of the late twentieth century. Of course we’re referring to Keith Haring and (a personal favourite here at THE JOURNAL), Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Titled Crossing Lines, the exhibition is exclusive to Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and will offer new and fascinating insights into the artists’ unique visual languages, and for the first time, the many intersections between their lives, practices and ideas.
Symbiotic of 1980s street art afloat fierce socio-political commentary, the pair are touted for changing the world with the unparalleled use of signs, symbols and words; conveying message in methods unseen.
The exhibition will start at the beginning of each iconic career, taking it back to New York City streets and journeying forward through each tragically short yet prolific lifetime. Collaborations with one another and the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones and Andy Warhol join the line-up, these along with some of their most acclaimed work. Cue: Basquiat’s notorious crown and head motifs including Untitled 1982, and Haring’s ‘radiant baby ‘ and dancing figures.’
Haring’s Untitled 1983 joins the body of works – a complex composition of figures, lines and a computer, offering salient commentary on the rise and eventual domination of mass media and computer technology. This in addition to Haring’s ‘A Pile of Crowns,’ a tribute to his dear friend Basquiat following his death on August 12th1988.
“Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artworks combine the explosive visual codes of New York’s streets with universal symbols of humankind, often engaging with political issues, racial criticism, social injustices and consumer capitalism. With their skeleton-like silhouettes, mask-like grimaces and other now renowned visual icons, his compositions drew inspiration from everyday life and popular culture such as cartoons, children’s drawings and advertising, as well as Aztec and African Art,” said Dr. Dieter Buchhart, respected art historian and guest curator of Crossing Lines.
Devoted to messages of social justice, Haring engaged with many social and political causes, and actively fought against prejudice and injustice, raising awareness of the destruction of the environment, the AIDS epidemic and many other issues facing humankind and the planet.
Haring’s Untitled 1983 joins the body of works – a complex composition of figures, lines and a computer, offering salient commentary on the rise and eventual domination of mass media and computer technology. This in addition to Haring’s ‘A Pile of Crowns,’ a tribute to dear friend Basquiat following his death on August 12th1988.
Don’t miss it.
Crossing Lines will be on display form December 1st– April 13th2020 at The National Gallery of Victoria. Get your tickets here.
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