World Chess Hall of Fame exhibition celebrates the legacy of Keith Haring

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World Chess Hall of Fame exhibition celebrates the legacy of Keith Haring
Vilac, Keith Haring Chess Set, 2019, Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, Keith Haring artwork copyright ©️ Keith Haring Foundation_Photo by Crystal Fuller.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The World Chess Hall of Fame is hosting the exhibition, Keith Haring: Radiant Gambit, celebrating the legacy of world-renowned artist Keith Haring.

Keith Haring: Radiant Gambit features artwork by Haring, a world-renowned artist known for his art that proliferated in the New York subway system during the early 1980s. The exhibition includes a never-before-seen private collection of Haring’s works and photographs of the artist, bespoke street art chess sets from Purling London and newly-commissioned pieces by Saint Louis artists, all paying homage to the late icon.

“The World Chess Hall of Fame is honored to present the art of Keith Haring in this exhibition, which includes work spanning the entirety of his career,” said WCHOF Chief Curator Shannon Bailey. “Haring’s influence, even though he passed away over 30 years ago, is still prevalent to this day. He believed art was for everybody, just as the World Chess Hall of Fame believes chess is for everybody.”

The two-floor exhibition features 130 works, including a never-before-seen private collection of Keith Haring’s work via Pan Art Connections, Inc., loans from the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in Saint Louis and photographs of Haring by Allan Tannebaum. Two artists, LA2 (Angel Ortiz) who befriended Haring as a teen and collaborated with the artist for six years, and Thierry Noir, credited as the first artist to paint on the Berlin Wall, have hand-painted chess sets in this show, in addition to Sickboy and Darren John, two UK-based street artists. Two commercially manufactured posthumous chess sets featuring artwork by Haring also are on display.

As part of Radiant Gambit, the WCHOF also invited four Saint Louis artists (Dail Chambers, Stan Chisholm, Edo Rosenblith and Peat EYEZ Wollaeger) to contribute to the exhibition. They took inspiration from the art and life of Keith Haring and the game of chess to create a diverse array of artwork, ranging from murals to an illuminated chess set. The exhibition is supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

“Since the World Chess Hall of Fame opened in Saint Louis in 2011, we have always showcased and celebrated Saint Louis and regional artists,” said Bailey. “All four of these artists have reinterpreted chess and Haring’s messaging into original, thought-provoking work that will become part of the World Chess Hall of Fame’s permanent collection.”

Keith Haring: Radiant Gambit will be on view through May 16, 2021.

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