Collection 1970s–Present


Downtown New York

Fall 2019–Spring 2021


Keith Haring. Untitled. 1982. Ink on two sheets of paper, sheet: 72 × 671 1/2" (182.9 × 1705.6cm) Part (panel a): 72 × 360 3/4" (182.9 × 916.3 cm) Part (panel b): 72 × 310 1/4" (182.9 × 788 cm). Gift of the Estate of Keith Haring, Inc. © 2019 The Keith Haring Foundation
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 202

During the 1980s, Manhattan below 14th Street was a vibrant and affordable place to live and make art, a flourishing scene for creative expression. With the city as their stage, artists working there engaged with graffiti culture and street art, photographed their communities of friends and lovers, and produced collaborative forms of sculpture, painting, design, and performance. The rough-hewn streets still bore the traces of New York’s economic collapse in the 1970s, and downtown was fertile ground for art responding to urban blight, Reaganomics, gentrification, and the first wave of the AIDS pandemic. Producing art for public spaces as well as exhibitions in galleries, studios, and nightclubs scattered across the neighborhood, these artists turned their environment into a hub for the integration of art and life.

Organized by Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

7 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

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