Friday 10 July 2020

Keith Haring’s ‘Groovy sea beast’ preserved for Amsterdam

The mural in question. Photo Hanna Hachula. Artwork © Keith Haring

Restoration work on American artist Keith Haring’s mural in Amsterdam-West is set to start in April of next year, the Stedelijk Museum said on Thursday.

The museum will act as an advisor, with Amsterdam local council, project developer Marktkwartier and the Keith Haring Foundation contributing a third each to the estimated restoration costs of around €180,000.

The ‘Groovy sea animal’, on the wall of what is now the Amsterdam-West Food Center and the museum’s depot at the time, is Haring’s biggest mural in Europe and measures 15 by 13 metres. In 2018 it saw the light of day again after having been hidden by aluminium insulation material for 30 years.

Haring (1958-1990) took only one day to paint the mural when he was in the Netherlands for a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1986. On that occasion he also painted a giant cloth for the museum which was restored and reinstated in 2017.

The restoration will be carried out by an international team led by art conservators Will Shank and Antonio Rava. Shank and Rava also restored murals by Haring in Pisa and Paris. After the restoration, a protective coating will seal the painting against weather influences, so that the artwork is preserved for future generations, the Stedelijk museum said.

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