Performance Space New York has entered into a major new partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, which has awarded the organization a $1 million grant to support the establishment of a new two-year Curatorial Fellowship. In honor of Haring’s legacy and history with the forty-year organization – the artist developed his signature painting style during a studio residency at Painting Space 122 in the same disused public school building where the nonprofit was founded in 1980 – Performance Space New York has named its black box space the Keith Haring Theater, where it will host the free Keith Haring Lecture Series for the public later this year.
“This historic year offers Performance Space the opportunity to reflect on what lies ahead through those who in its vital past have also envisioned the best future that art and activism could imagine and catalyze,” reads- on in a press release published by the contemporary performance hall. “Keith Haring fluidly engaged a variety of disciplines, as seen in his organization of performances (Live art acts) at Club 57 – and in his street art, exhibitions and collaborations, he combined a playful sensibility with incisive social commentary and, in the late 1980s, HIV/AIDS activism. This alliance highlights Performance Space’s history of engaging artists who build crossroads between disciplines and question given forms, in conjunction with their transcendence of the norms around them.
The organization also announced the appointment of Suzanne Geiss – who co-authored a monograph on Keith Haring with Jeffrey Deitch which was published by Rizzoli International in 2008 – as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors and of Kaneza Schaal, a New York-based theater artist, as Vice Chairman of the Board. President. Commenting on Performance Space New York’s collaboration with the foundation, Geiss said, “A key part of our mission – to combine disciplines and communities and draw inspiration from nightlife – is very much in the spirit of how whose world Keith Haring saw. Haring’s work, his synthesis of different forms of expression into a single vocabulary, also truly encapsulated the energy of the East Village. In this same neighborhood, now, with the naming of the theater and the various programs surrounding this partnership, its legacy will be constantly fresh in the minds of artists and audiences of all generations.