Tate Liverpool Conference

Keith Haring: Art and Activism in 1980s New York

Tseng Kwong Chi Keith Haring in subway car, (New York)

Tseng Kwong Chi Keith Haring in subway car, (New York), circa 1983. Photo © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc. Art © Keith Haring Foundation

Join us for a two-day conference exploring Keith Haring's art and career

Keith Haring developed his practice during a time of major social change. From the end of the cold war to the rise of neoliberalism, Haring honed his craft. He became an artist who would actively campaign for social justice. This is exemplified in many of his iconic works, such as Poster for Nuclear Disarmament, 1982.

Haring is known for his deceptively simple visual language. He was inspired by cultures and traditions he was immersed in, such as street art, hip-hop, video games and robotics. Haring engaged with both uptown high art and downtown street culture. He expanded the legacies of pop art and addressed urgent political social issues of his time.

This major international conference explores Haring’s life through the presentation of new scholarship from leading academics, writers and artists in the field. It explores Haring’s life in the context of the 1980s, as well as the lasting legacy of his work in contemporary society. The conference will explore the following topics: alternative communities; cultural production around HIV/AIDS; museum practice; queer genealogies; merchandise and design; video activism; and the African-American Vernacular.

Confirmed speakers include:

Queer contagion: Keith Haring and New York’s canine imaginary
Fiona Anderson, Newcastle University

What you don’t know about aids could fill a museum: Keith Haring and the Legacy of Early Crisis Cultural Interventions
Ted Kerr, The New School University, New York.

What’s in a Line?: Race, Desire and a Queer Genealogy of Keith Haring’s Writing
Ricardo Montez, The New School University, New York.

Art Merchandise as Activism: Keith Haring and his Legacy
Amy Raffel, Independent Scholar

An Alternative to the Alternatives: Keith Haring and the Politics of Community Engagement
Leah Pires, Brown University, Rhode Island

The Pop Apocalypse: The Continuing Legacy of Keith Haring’s Apocalyptic Creations
Natalie Phillips, Ball State University, Indiana.

Keith Haring and Black Vernacular
Dagmawi Woubshet, University of Pennsylvania.

Do Not Tape Over: AIDs Activist Video
Ed Webb-Ingall, Artist and Independent Scholar

The second day of this conference will be held at Liverpool John Moores University. More details will be given on the first day.

Tate Liverpool

4th floor Auditorium

Royal Albert Dock Liverpool
Liverpool L3 4BB
Plan your visit


7–8 November 2019

Supported by

The Keith Haring Foundation

Liverpool John Moores University