Show up early to any performance in our historic theater to enjoy the first viewing outside of Italy of Keith Haring’s eye-catching and colorful Fiorucci Walls in the Shuman Lounge. You may also view stunning portraits of artists who have impacted City Center by Arnold Newman and Nina Robinson throughout our lobby.
Reading, PA 1958 – New York, NY 1990
Angel Ortiz (LA II)
b. New York, NY 1967
Site-specific performance on October 9, 1983, made in cooperation with Angel Ortiz (LA II) at the Fiorucci Store, Galleria Passarella, Milan, Italy.
On loan from MACo Museum of Chang Mai, Thailand, opening in 2023.
Keith Haring was a popular artist and activist who was part of the New York art scene during the 1980s. Inspired by graffiti art, he began drawing in New York’s subway stations, filling empty poster spaces with chalk drawings. His aim was to make art accessible to everyone.
Known for his iconic motifs and colorful paintings, much of Haring’s work was a response to social and political events unfolding during his life, including the AIDS epidemic, drug abuse, and apartheid. Openly gay, Haring also represented the hardships of the LGBTQ community.
Haring frequently listened to hip hop music while painting, reflected in the expression of movement and energy by the rhythmic lines of his work. He often painted on vinyl tarpaulin; a material often laid on the street by break dancers for use as a surface for their performances.
Elio Fiorucci was a legendary Milan-based designer, known for his double-cherub logo, playful vitality, and connection to the club scene in the 70s and 80s. His shop in Milan showcased avant-garde art and new fashion trends and was a meeting place for the city’s youth. In its heyday, his brand’s reach was global, and the Fiorucci outpost on East 59th Street was a magnet for celebrities.
In 1983, Fiorucci invited Haring to Milan to turn his store into a work of art. Fiorucci stripped his 5,000 square foot store bare, creating a blank wall canvas. Haring painted the shop in 13 hours, working overnight with his 16-year-old friend and protégé LA II, accompanied by the tunes of DJ Maurizio Marisco.
When the installation came down in 1984, Fiorucci saved the panel shown here and kept it in storage for decades. He had it restored in 1991. Keith Haring’s Fiorucci Walls (1983) will be on view in the Shuman Lounge before each performance until the fall.
Join the conversation #LAIINYCC # FiorucciToCityCenter # HaringNYCC
Arnold Newman (1918-2006) was one of the 20th century’s most influential portrait photographers. His work appeared on the covers of Life and Look magazines, in museum exhibitions, and in many books. He was known for environmental portraiture, a style of photography that captures sitters in their own environments, evoking their personalities and professions. Newman explained, “I am interested in what motivates individuals, what they do with their lives, their personalities, and how I perceive and interpret them.”
Newman specialized in photographing artists, beginning with those of the New York School of abstract expressionist painters whom he met in the 1940s. He later photographed Picasso, Braque, Miró, Chagall, Mondrian, and other major European modernists. In the 1960s and 70s, his subjects included Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Duchamp, Louise Nevelson, Henry Miller, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Ayn Rand, and Marilyn Monroe. He was also admired for his photographs of American presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton.
Ten master portraits of subjects whose careers were intertwined with City Center will be on view all season in our theater lobby.
All photographs courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery
Nina Robinson is a photographer based in Arkansas and New York who creates portraiture and documentary rooted in community that celebrates the human senses. Her photography has been featured in The New York Times and National Geographic and exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center, the Bronx Museum, and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
As part of last year’s 75th Anniversary celebration, New York City Center commissioned Robinson to capture portraits of our theater and dance artists throughout our rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as in the other spaces in which they live and create. The life-size portraits explore what "home" means to each artist and will be on view all season long in our theater lobby.
Support for Visual Art Exhibitions is provided by
Deborah Goodman Davis and Gerald R. Davis