The Austrian Albertina museum is marking what would have been Keith Haring’s 60th birthday with an exhibition, starting March 16, of around a hundred works by the American artist.

Haring died aged 31 of AIDS-related complications in 1990 in New York.

Still widely celebrated with all manner of exhibitions and merchandise, Haring enjoyed an early and enduring success.

In spite of this, the Albertina museum in Vienna suggests that the true significance of the symbolic language running through the artist’s work has scarcely been recognised.

In fact, Haring’s drawings, paintings and sculptures each embody messages that make a stand against the violence of ruling elites, the oppression of minorities, prejudice or barbarism.

These themes are expressed via a form of art that’s easily accessible to a wide audience, taking inspiration from graffiti and street art, and with the artist’s simply drawn signature figures.


Haring’s Untitled, an early work from 1983. The artist bridged the gap between the art world and the street.

Haring championed the causes that mattered to him through his work, such as the oppression of individuals by dictatorship, racism, capitalism and drug addiction. He fought to end apartheid in South Africa and was dedicated to the fight against AIDS.

He also warned against the perils of nuclear war, environmental destruction and countless other threats to humanity or the planet.These complex causes were expressed through the artist’s symbolic language, where images function as words.

Keith Haring, The Alphabet runs Mar 16- Jun 24, 2018 at the Albertina in Vienna, Austria. – AFP Relaxnews