Keith Haring
A collection of artworks by the Pop Art master from a single private collection

Italian Art Factory, the Robot City concept store dedicated to art, design and lifestyle, presents the exhibition “K. H. Private collection of works by Keith Haring. Terracotta | Drawings | Acrylics| Gadgets”, running from Saturday 21 May to Friday 30 September 2016. Vittorio Sgarbi will be present at the inauguration.

Designed specifically for the spaces of Italian Art Factory, the exhibition comprises 16 works by Keith Haring, all from a single private collection: a group of works which include the famous paintings in acrylics on various types of supports, and also throw light on some of the less familiar aspects of Haring, master of Pop Art, and his work, such as his ceramic production, and the catalogues of serial, limited-edition prints. It also provides an overview of the various personages populating his artistic imagination. One of these is the famous Andy Mouse, who in this case takes the form of a children’s toy, and combines two of the artist’s heroes: Mickey Mouse, star of Disney’s cartoons, and his artist and friend Andy Warhol.

On the occasion of this exhibition, Italian Art Factory becomes a re-edition of one of the “Pop Shops” opened by the artist, installing a complete shop in the display space, a tribute to the historic store created by Keith Haring in 1986. The store will stock official merchandising products from the Keith Haring Foundation whose objective is to gather funds to assist people suffering from AIDS and for initiatives dedicated to infancy.

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1958, Keith Haring was one of the key figures in the development of street art and its role in contemporary art. His artistic language was based on a direct, simple style, expressed by line alone, transmitting universal messages and creating an unmistakable visual identity. His personality and his life history are the perfect expression of the dynamic cultural atmosphere that exploded in New York in the 1980s.

Keith Haring made graffiti into works of art. He was also pivotal in converting artistic works into widespread consumer products. Haring printed pins depicting the personalities appearing in his subway drawings, giving them away on metro trains, and selling t-shirts with his tags for just a few dollars. In 1986, he opened “Pop Shop” in Soho, a space dedicated to the sale of his gadgets. Keith Haring considered the shop an extension of his work, whose mission was to make art accessible to everyone, and in particular to the Afro-American and Hispanic communities, and more in general to the minorities of New York’s downtown during the 1980s, who were an important source of inspiration for his artistic approach.

Haring was the pioneer of an area of artistic exploration that began with Andy Warhol’s Factory and continues still today, including Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki group, Damien Hirst’s Othercriteria organization, the gadgets produced by Julian Opie at absolutely accessible prices, Maurizio Cattelan’s boule à neige, and the songs by Martin Creed that can be downloaded to iPods. These experiences helped develop the concept of “artist’s shop,” making it a work in itself, as demonstrated, for example, by Rob Pruitt’s Flea Markets: large events involving dozens of artists invited to sell their own products directly to the visitors of this dazzling emporium.

With the exhibition “K. H. Private collection of works by Keith Haring. Terracotta | Drawings | Acrylics| Gadgets” at the gallery Italian Art Factory in Robot City, Keith Haring at last returns to Italy, a country that he loved. He visited it for the first time in 1983, invited by Lucio Amelio in Napoli, taking part in the Terrae Motus project for the benefit of earthquake refugees in Irpinia. His link with Tuscany is even more powerful, and the last motif in his artistic career was created in this region: the mural Tuttomondo, painted in June 1989 on the exterior wall of the church in the monastery of Sant’Antonio Abate, Pisa, in just 4 days. The mural is the largest work that he ever made in Europe.

Italian Art Factory
via Garibaldi, 22
t. 0584-70559