Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural

March 3 - September 23, 2018

Chicago Cultural Center • Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North

Chicago Cultural Center  >  Exhibitions  >  Events Calendar  >  Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural

 

Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural (Photo by: Marcelino Y. Fahd)(Photo by: Marcelino Y. Fahd)  (click on image to enlarge)

 

The FREE admission exhibition will feature 36 original panels of the monumental mural created in 1989 by internationally-acclaimed artist Keith Haring with the assistance of 500 Chicago Public School students in Chicago's Grant Park. The mural is a reflection of Haring’s incisive draftsmanship and symbolic characters (e.g. radiant baby, barking dog). Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the exhibition will also feature a collection of photographs, correspondence, designs, plans, t-shirt drawings and much more.

Over five days, May 15–19, 1989, which the City of Chicago declared “Keith Haring Week,” the renowned artist worked with approximately 500 Chicago Public School students from 63 area high schools to paint a monumental mural in his familiar energetic style. The 488-foot long mural, made up of 122 4x8-foot Masonite panels, stretched along the edge of Grant Park at Michigan Ave. between Randolph St. and Madison St. Without any sort of sketch or plan, Haring first painted his signature black outline drawings of figures and symbols. The students were then given five colors – red, orange, sky blue, light green and yellow – and minimal instructions to paint each section in a solid color and adjoining sections in different colors. Many students took creative license and included personal messages, from their own initials to support for their schools, to social messages.

The project was planned and managed with great dedication by Irving Zucker, a teacher at William H. Wells Community Academy, after meeting Haring at a dinner party in New York. The artist expressed interest in a project with kids in Chicago, and the planning began in 1987 for an innovative arts-in-education program to be developed by the Chicago Public Schools Bureau of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (MCA).

For a number of years, these 36 panels resided at Chicago’s Midway Airport.  Following the exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, the panels will be returned to the Chicago Public Schools for conservation and distribution to select schools. Other panels have already been placed at various schools and other locations throughout the city.

As one of the most significant artists of his generation, Keith Haring developed a love for drawing at a very early age. As an art student in New York City, Haring experimented with performance, video, installation and collage, but he found a highly effective medium on the unused advertising panels covered with matte black paper in subway stations. In the early 80s, commuters soon became familiar with his prolific chalk “subway drawings,” as he could create as many as forty in a day. Haring achieved international recognition and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including an acclaimed one-man exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in 1982. During this period, he also participated in renowned survey exhibitions such as Documenta 7 in Kassel, the São Paulo Biennial and the Whitney Biennial.

Throughout his career, Haring devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages. He produced more than 50 public artworks between 1982 and 1989, including the Chicago mural. Other projects included: the now famous Crack is Wack mural along New York’s FDR Drive; a mural created for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, on which Haring worked with 900 children, and a mural painted on the western side of the Berlin Wall three years before its fall.

Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. In 1989, he established the Keith Haring Foundation to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs and to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibitions, publications and the licensing of his images. Nine months after completing the mural in Chicago, Haring died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 31 on February 16, 1990. Since his death, his work has been the subject of numerous international retrospectives and can be seen in the collections of major museums around the world. Using universal concepts of birth, death, love, sex and war, featuring a primacy of line and directness of message, Haring was able to attract a wide audience and assure the accessibility and staying power of his imagery, which has become a universally recognized visual language of the 20th century.

 

For more information on Keith Haring, visit www.haring.com

Programs

March 22, 5:30pm

Conversation with Irving Zucker, Chicago Public School teacher and project manager for the 1989 mural, and Helyn Goldenberg, Former President and CEO for the Museum of Contemporary Art

Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North

 

Gallery Talks

Thursdays, April 19, June 21 and August 16, 5:30pm

Gallery Talks with curators and artists

Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North

 

For Youth and Families

Friday, April 6, 11am-12pm

Juicebox with Gingerate Capoeira will juxtapose capoeria, a rich martial art form that combines dance, acrobatics, music and culture and the playful figures in the Haring mural. Juicebox presented by Lifeway Foods is geared toward the stroller set and enjoyable for the whole family.

Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North

 

Saturday, September 22, 11am

During the YAS! Festival in Millennium Park, local youth will work with an artist to create a new artwork inspired by the Haring mural.

 

 

1st and 3rd Friday of every month, 12-2pm

Drop by the Chicago Cultural Center Learning Lab to explore lines, shapes and forms borrowed directly from the Haring mural.k

   
 

Follow us on:

facebook twitter Instagram YouTube
Newsletter

Plan Your Visit

   
Chicago Cultural Center
   
 

Chicago Cultural Center
Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North
78 E. Washington St.

Chicago, IL 60602


FREE Admission


Building Hours:

  • Monday–Friday, 10am–7pm
  • Saturday–Sunday, 10am–5pm

Closed Holidays

 

Visitor Information


View Photo Gallery

 

 

 

 Supporting Information Facts

 I Want To

 Additional Information

2018 Year of Creative Youth

Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural is part of the Year of Creative Youth, a citywide celebration of Chicago’s young artists and the mentors who inspire them. Learn more at cityofchicago.org/yocy