Keith Haring: New Wave Aztec

Keith Haring: New Wave Aztec

October 22, 2004–February 2, 2005

“I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create a language. There is within all forms a basic structure an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines that becomes a symbol. This is common to all languages, all people, all times.”
—Keith Haring, journal entry, 1979

The imagery of Keith Haring (1958–90) has become a universally recognized visual language of the 20th century. As a student of history, he was particularly interested in semiotics (the study of signs) and art from a variety of cultures, including Precolumbian, Egyptian, and Asian. As a result, his work—built from an iconic language of signature lines and symbols—also shows influences of different visual styles and movements. The interrelationships between his compositions and the ancient imagery presented in The Aztec Empire underscore both the contemporary relevance of Aztec and the powerful points of connection where distinct cultures and centuries meet.

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Wah Nu and Tun Win Aung, Four Pieces (of White), 2012

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