Friday Night: Keith Haring
13 Oct 2017

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam organizes a Friday Night program that will honor the return of the Keith Haring canvas with a minilecture, interview and artist talk with Brain Elstak, Jasper Krabbé, Mick la Rock and Jan Rothuizen!

Various locations in the museum
7:30 - 9 pm
Museum card free (reservation necessary. Get your free ticket through our website) / Students € 9 / Regular € 17.50
Sold out
Keith Haring, Untitled (velum), 1986, coll. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam © Keith Haring Foundation
Keith Haring, Untitled (velum), 1986, coll. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam © Keith Haring Foundation

*Due to the recent passing of Amterdam’s late mayor Eberhard van der Laan and the public farewell in his honor, that will be held this Friday at the Concertgebouw on the Museumplein, we intend to keep our Keith Haring program at the Stedelijk Museum modest.*

In the spring of 1986 a twenty-seven-year-old Keith Haring exhibits at the Stedelijk. From the moment his distinctive drawings are noticed in the New York subway, he rapidly ascends to fame. The colorful figures fit perfectly within the hip-hop street culture of the 1980s, and are instantly adored by teens. Thanks to the young Haring, then director Wim Beeren brings youth culture from the street into the Stedelijk.

Especially for this exhibition the American artist and activist painted a canvas of 12 x 20 meters which filtered daylight into the museum. In just one day Haring spray painted the canvas in one of the Stedelijk’s galleries. He even made an energetic performance of it: under the attentive eyes of photographers and journalists, his body moved to hip-hop music, taking on a rhythmic tempo while he painted over the canvas. Now, after more than thirty years and a restoration, this artwork can once again be admired in its original location above the historic staircase of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.


7.30 pm welcome and introduction | Margriet Schavemaker is curator and head of education, interpretation, and publications at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

7.40 mini-lecture | Chris Reinewald writes about visual art, applied art, photography, and design for various media. In the 1980s, during the Keith Haring exhibition, he was active as visual artist in the “alternative artist circuit” known as Aorta. On occasion of the return of Haring’s canvas, he wrote a close reconstruction of Haring’s activities within and surrounding the exhibition in 1986. The article will be published on the website of the Stedelijk Museum and in a more extensive book form.

7.50 – 8.15 interview | with Julia Gruen en Fawn Krieger. Julia Gruen became Keith Haring’s studio manager in 1984, a position she held until his death in 1990. During this period, Gruen assisted Haring with virtually all of his extensive projects worldwide, including exhibitions, public murals, events, publications, licensing and the opening of both the New York and Tokyo Pop Shops. In 1989, Haring established the Keith Haring Foundation and appointed Gruen as its executive director. Gruen currently oversees all the activities of the Haring organization. She has collaborated on the organization of solo museum exhibitions of Haring’s work in over 30 countries, has written extensively about the artist for numerous publications and frequently lectures worldwide on the artist’s life and work.

Fawn Krieger, has been working at the Haring Foundation since 2000.  She has held the position of Education Director and Grants Officer since 2005. Under her leadership, the Foundation has made countless grants to AIDS service organizations and youth programs, including the Stedelijk’s Summer School. At the Haring Foundation’s space in New York City (formerly Keith Haring’s studio) Krieger frequently hosts small groups of visitors and students from museums, schools, and community based organizations.

8.15 – 8.40 round table discussion with four visual artists | Jan Rothuizen made the drawing Keith Haring studio in 2015 for an exhibition about the artist at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. He is currently using every wall of Het Lab in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam to provide a platform for visitors’ creativity. In the 1980s Jasper Krabbé was one of the first “graffiti writers,” and street artist Keith Haring was one of his greatest heroes. In addition to his work as an artist, Krabbé hosts a televised art program. The work of Brian Elstak finds its roots in hip-hop culture, which was likewise so vital to Keith Haring’s work. In 2016 the Stedelijk Museum’s Blikopeners organized a hip-hop event, to which Elstak made a significant contribution. Mick La Rock (Aileen Middel) is one of the world’s first and most well-known female graffiti artists. She stared to write her name in graffiti in the 1980s, when she was thirteen years old, at the time when hip hop reached the Netherlands and Europe. Currently, she is working with the Vroom & Varossieau gallery to investigating the possibilities of restoring a large Keith Haring mural in Amsterdam West.

8.40-9.00 Closing remarks and discussion with the audience.

The conservation and restoration of the large translucent canopy by Keith Haring and the related educational programming are generously supported by The Keith Haring Foundation.