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Crossing Haring and Basquiat

10 Dec 2019

Crossing Haring and Basquiat Image

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is host to the world premiere exhibition Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines over summer.

Although the two artists’ symbols, iconography and style have become instantly recognisable, and fans are familiar with the friendship between them, the exhibition reveals new insights into the intersections between their lives, practices and ideas.

The NGV water wall was transformed for the exhibition with a striking vinyl graphic display based on an original mural Haring painted on the wall 35 years ago.

Art historian and guest curator of Crossing Lines Dr Dieter Buchhart said the two men were giants of the art world.

“Haring and Basquiat are among the most influential artists of not only the 1980s but more broadly of our time and relevant to global youth culture,” he said.

“While Basquiat anticipated today’s ‘always-on’ culture of communication and contemporary knowledge spaces, Haring foreshadowed emojis with his image-word alphabet.”

“This universal system of communication remains a positive, humanistic meme in the collective struggle against ignorance, fear and silence.”

Crossing Lines surveys both artists’ tragically short yet prolific careers through more than 200 artworks, including works created in public spaces, painting, sculpture, objects, photographs and more.

Beginning with examples of Haring and Basquiat’s work from the streets and subway stations of New York City, the exhibition presents early collaborations and highlights alongside some of their most proclaimed pieces.

It also explores the creative circles they moved in alongside icons such as Andy Warhol, Madonna and Grace Jones.

Crossing Lines is running December 1– April 12.

Ngv.vic.gov.au

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