A popular artist and activist, Keith Haring was an influential part of the New York art scene during the 1980s. Inspired by graffiti art, he began drawing in New York’s subway stations, filling empty advertising spaces with chalk drawings. His aim was to make art accessible to everyone.
In 1983, legendary Milan-based designer Elio Fiorucci invited Haring to Milan to turn his store into a work of art. Fiorucci stripped his 5,000 square foot store bare, creating a blank wall canvas. Haring painted the shop in 13 hours, working overnight with his friend and collaborator Angel Ortiz (LA II), accompanied by the tunes of DJ Maurizio Marisco.
When the installation came down in 1984, Fiorucci saved the panels and kept them in storage for decades. The panel currently installed in City Center’s Shuman Lounge—on display in New York for the first time ever—was restored by Fiorucci in 1991.
A series of portraits by Jeannette Montgomery Barron, known for her photographs of the New York art world in the 1980s, accompanies the panel just outside the Lounge.
Audience members at mainstage performances throughout the season are invited to experience the installation before their performance and during intermission. In addition, City Center is hosting four dates for public viewing.
Fiorucci Walls photographed by Sebastian Freyer (top); Barron portraits (above) photographed by Paula Lobo.
Fiorucci Walls, 1983
Site-specific performance on October 9, 1983, made in cooperation with Angel Ortiz (LA II) at the Fiorucci Store, Galleria Passarella, Milan, Italy.
On loan from MACo Museum of Chang Mai, Thailand.
Reading, PA 1958 – New York, NY 1990
Angel Ortiz (LA II)
b. New York, NY 1967
Photographed by Jeannette Montgomery Barron, 1985, NYC
As we return to our beloved theater on 55th Street, we hope you’ll consider making a gift to ensure that City Center can remain an artistic home for all New Yorkers. Your generosity will enable City Center to continue to share the joy of the visual and performing arts for generations to come.
Support for Visual Art at New York City Center is provided by
Deborah Goodman Davis and Gerald R. Davis