The Most Important Artists of 2013 (So Far)

6. Keith Haring

Exhibitions: "Keith Haring: The Political Line" at Musée D'Art Moderne (April 19 - August 18, 2013), "Keith Haring >" at Central Plaza in Hong Kong during Art Basel Hong Kong (May 23, 2013)

Keith Haring may no longer be alive, but his presence has been felt in a very big way this year with a massive retrospective at MAM in Paris and an equally impressive exhibition titled "Keith Haring >" at Art Basel's first Hong Kong installment. Reebok even hosted an exhibition of his work alongside their Haring-inspired shoe collection last April. The appeal of Keith Haring to a new generation is vast-he stood up for gay rights, he was vocally against racism, and he openly promoted AIDS research once he learned he was diagnosed with it, at a time when it was much less popular to do so than now.

His retrospective at MAM is a detailed, multimedia look at how Haring has remained influential, beyond the abundance of post-mortem brand collaborations done with the permission of his estate. Haring, like his late colleague, Jean-Michel Basquiat, remains extremely powerful as a symbol of refreshing, outspoken art and unbounding charisma. -Cedar Pasori

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