A legend of New York City’s street art scene, Keith Haring is known for his graphic line drawings. During his short but prolific career, his work appeared in over 100 solo and group exhibitions and his artworks remain in the collections of major museums like the Whitney and The MoMA as well as public and private spaces around New York City. And for a limited time, a mural by Haring and his collaborator Angel Ortiz (LA II) — never before seen in New York City — are now on view at the New York City Center, a performing arts center in Midtown.

In 1983, in the early years of his career, Keith Haring went to Milan at the behest of the fashion designer Elio Fiorucci, who commissioned him to paint the walls of his boutique. Fiorucci stripped 5,000 square feet of walls bare, creating a blank canvas, which Haring and Ortiz painted over the course of 13 hours straight. The pair worked overnight, energized by the music of DJ Maurizio Marisco.

Keith Haring
Photo by Jeannette Montgomery Barron

Fiorucci took the installation down in 1984 and preserved the panels in storage. He restored them in 1991 and they now form part of the collection of the MACo Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which has loaned them to the New York City Center for its 2021 – 2022 season.

To celebrate the return to in person live performances, the New York City Center is launching the season with the Fall for Dance Festival from October 13 – 24. Haring and Ortiz’s Fiorucci Walls are on display in the City Center’s Shulman Lounge for attendees to admire before and after performances and during intermission. A series of portraits of Haring by Jeannette Montgomery Barron are exhibited just outside the lounge. The City Center is also hosting four dates during which anyone can drop by to see the works. From noon until 6 p.m. on Friday, October 29, Saturday, October 30, Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, the Fiorucci Walls will be open to the public.

Photo by Paula Lobo

“New York City Center has served the city of New York for nearly 80 years by providing access to the performing arts for all,” New York City Center President and CEO Arlene Shuler told Hyperallergic. “As we make this momentous return to in-person performances this season, we are so fortunate to be exhibiting the work of an icon of the New York art scene who also sought to make his art accessible to everyone.”

  • Keith Haring mural at City Center
  • Signature on Keith Haring mural at City Center
  • Keith Haring mural at City Center
  • Detail of Keith Haring mural at City Center
  • Keith Haring mural at City Center in New York City

Next, read about 8 places to see Keith Haring’s artwork in NYC!