KEITH HARING: FALLING UP | Hong Kong, K11 Musea

For shopping destination K11 MUSEA’s first anniversary, Phillips Auctions has curated a small, free exhibition of the legendary American pop artist at the Art & Cultural Centre. Featuring Haring’s instantly recognisable paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as some carefully selected memorabilia, an all-too-brief career is succinctly captured by this surprisingly broad-ranging exhibition.

Haring’s classic, eye-popping works of The Fertility Suite (1983) greet us the moment we enter, along with a large scale aluminium sculpture (1989). But on the opposite side of the wall are some less recognisable works, including a remarkable Red-Yellow-Blue #2 (1987) which features no blue beyond the sad, penetrating eyes, and layers of thick black lines obscuring us from the figure.

With a covering screen in place to avoid possible offense, the exhibition does not shy away from some of Haring’s more explicitly sexual works, including a giant black tarpaulin mat, dominated by the leaky paint of a cartoon penis ejaculating full-size humans (1984).

Memorabilia includes a glass-boxed black leather jacket, covered in little badges and patches across the 1980s, reminding us of how Haring’s work straddles the worlds of fine art and merchandising. Haring’s art on a mint-condition flyer from The Chicago Voguers’ Ball, 1989, as well as a leaflet about AIDS, are keen examples of how involved Haring was with the LGBT community. All the glamour of a destination exhibition, with the ease of of visiting a shopping mall.

Free admission, 9 – 18 October 2020.

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