Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
Keith Haring (American 1958–90) and Jean-Michel Basquiat (American 1960–88) changed the art world of the 1980s through their idiosyncratic imagery, radical ideas and complex socio-political commentary, creating an indelible legacy that continues to influence contemporary visual and popular culture today. Each artist is acclaimed for his distinctive visual language, employing signs, symbols and words to convey strong social and political messages in unconventional ways.
The exhibition surveys each artist’s tragically short, yet prolific career through more than 200 artworks, including works created in public spaces, painting, sculpture, objects, works on paper, photographs and more. Crossing Lines provides local and international audiences with a comprehensive insight into these influential artists’ careers.
Beginning with examples of both artist’s work from the streets and subway stations of New York City, the exhibition presents early collaborations and works from each artist’s breakthrough exhibitions alongside many of their most acclaimed artworks, including paintings featuring Basquiat’s crown and head motifs and Haring’s iconic ‘radiant baby’ and dancing figures. Examining symbols, iconography and their incomparable styles, the exhibition also provides a broader appreciation of the creative social circles in which they moved along with other iconic figures including Andy Warhol, Madonna and Grace Jones.
Crossing Lines has been curated for the NGV by Dr Dieter Buchhart, art historian and curator of recent monographic exhibitions on both Jean-Michel Basquiat (Fondation Louis Vuitton, Barbican Art Gallery) and Keith Haring (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris).
Read our feature article about the exhibition here.