Grace House Mural
Photo: Anne Jannes Photography

Grace House Mural

The thirteen wall pieces of the Grace House Mural have never been shown in Europe before. Haring made this mural in 1983/84 in a New York Catholic youth centre.

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Between 1982 and 1989 Keith Haring painted more than 40 public murals all over the world. He made many of them for charities, hospitals, nurseries and orphanages. The Grace House Mural is a striking example.

Haring made the mural around 1984 in Grace House, a Catholic youth centre in New York. The work was about 26 metres long and covered the walls along the three-storey stairwell. In 2016, the shelter was closed and before the building was sold, the mural was removed. It can be seen here in thirteen panels, two original doors and an original radiator. The figures seem to stretch out into our space, full of movement and joy, as a symbol of hope. They invited the young people of the youth centre to share in the vitality and energy.

The mural features some of Haring's most iconic motifs, such as the radiant baby, dancing figures and a barking dog. The crawling, running and jumping figures form an energetic and cheerful parade. The dashes he painted around the figures make them seem to vibrate and move.  

This Grace House Mural is an example of Haring's performative art practice: his spontaneous and informal working method, the temporality of many of his works, the need for an audience and his love of dance and performance. The Grace House Mural is classic Keith Haring; not only because of its spontaneity, but also because it shows how socially committed he was, how he was always engaging with young people and bursting with energy.  

The presentation of the Grace House Mural is a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.