The Ten Commandments, one of Keith Haring’s most powerful series of paintings, was presented at Deitch Studios, Long Island City, on November 8th and will stay on display until December 21, 2008. The works portray the Ten Commandments from Haring’s point of view, combining a traditional Biblical interpretation with the artist’s liberating spirit and apocalyptic vision. The Ten Commandments were painted for Haring’s first solo museum show, a 1985 exhibition at the CAPC, Bordeaux, a reconverted wool warehouse with a span of twenty-five foot high archways supporting the roof. Thinking about how to best use the space, known as “the nave,” Haring had the inspiration to order ten tablet shaped canvases to fit within the arches. While on the dance floor at the Paradise Garage the day before leaving for Bordeaux, he had a vision to paint The Ten Commandments.
This is the first time that The Ten Commandments have been exhibited in the United States. Their twenty-five foot height requires a large cathedral-like exhibition space. Twenty-three years after their creation, The Ten Commandments will finally be able to be shown in New York in the large gallery at Deitch Studios.