The Palm Springs Art Museum announced today that it will be the exclusive venue for the major exhibition Against All Odds: Keith Haring in the Rubell Family Collection. Organized in collaboration with the Palm Springs Art Museum by Mark Coetzee, Director of the Rubell Family Collection and adjunct curator for the exhibition, it will run from November 8, 2008 to January 18, 2009. This marks the first of other future partnerships between the two museums involving a range of initiatives.
The exhibition presents work Haring produced after the period of his early mural and graffiti art. Included in the exhibition are 70 paintings, drawings and one sculpture spanning from works he created for his first gallery exhibition in 1982 to others made closer to his death in 1990 at the age of 31. The exhibition also includes 33 works by other artists who were important friends and artistic peers in Haring’s life, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Tseng Kwong Chi, and Andy Warhol. Contextualized by the art of his associates, Haring’s colorful and playful, yet equally powerful, acidic work records the lively engagement of art and culture that represented a key aspect of the New York art scene of the 1980s.
“Keith Haring began a very close relationship with the Rubell family early in his career and the Rubell Family Collection was able to acquire one of the most significant collections of Haring’s work in the world,” said Mark Coetzee. “Drawn exclusively from our collection, the exhibition celebrates a new and exciting relationship between the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Rubell Family Collection.”
“We are honored to be the exclusive venue for this exhibition from the great Rubell Family Collection,” said Steven Nash, Executive Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum. “The Rubell family has an amazing collection of work by Haring and his friends. Their staff in consultation with ours have put together an excellent exhibition that we are privileged to make available to west coast audiences.”
Education programs scheduled with the exhibition include a series of films about the artists, including The Universe of Keith Haring [November 9] and Conversations with Jean-Michel Basquiat [November 23]. The museum’s Teen Art Group will also work with members of Gay Associated Youth to create an in-gallery collaborative experience centered on viewing the works in the exhibition and responding through writing and personal interaction as a means of empowerment.
Additionally, the art museum will offer a series of lectures and private tours of the exhibition to art students of Palm Desert’s College of the Desert. A panel discussion at the opening night reception will be held with the Rubell Family and members of museum staff, centering on the Rubells’ history of collecting and especially their involvement with Keith Haring. An audio tour of the exhibition will be available on an iPod platform. And on January 6, Mark Coetzee will present a formal lecture elaborating upon themes established in the exhibition.
A fully illustrated catalogue for the exhibition will be available, with introductory essay by Mark Coetzee. Co-published by the RFC and Palm Springs Art Museum, it will be the first publication to examine in depth the full range of works by Haring in the Rubell collection.