Jean Dubuffet, Dhotel nuance
Oil on canvas, 45 1/2 x 35 in.
Behind an apparent ease
of invention in Haring's work lies much visual knowledge and sophistication. As
a child Keith Haring's ambitions was to be a cartoonist and illustrator. His ease,
fluency, and comic invention were astonishing at an early age. He enrolled in
commercial art school in Pittsburgh bu t left after six months with a newfound
dedication to the fine arts. It was in Pittsburgh, living on his own, that he
happened o the Pierre Alechinsky exhibition at Carnegie Institute in 1977. Alechinsky
in 1977 was a curious choice as the subject of a retrospective; his graphic style,
which evolved in the 1950's could not have seemed more out of phase in the minimal
preponderance of the late 1970s. In the elegantly agitated graphism of Alechinsky,
Haring saw that expressionism (abstract and European at that) was again an option
- an energetic prototype that could be absorbed and proffered again.
-- from the Intoduction
to Art in Transit
by Henry Geldzahler
| Complete essay.
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