‘Keith Haring: 1978-1982’

Keith Haring: 1978-1982’
Until July 8 at the Brooklyn Museum.

I thought I was being surreptitious and sneaky by snapping this picture of an enormous work by the activist and artist Keith Haring. When I looked up from my phone, though, I was staring right at another, much bolder picture-taker who was shooting over my shoulder, and when I stepped out of the way of that person I nearly bowled over two more doing the same thing.

I would have been bowling over folks no matter what I was doing, though. The member preview I attended was a madhouse. Which I think is a ringing endorsement, and that is without mentioning the wall of penis drawings.

The B.M.’s show is apparently the first “large-scale exhibition” on Haring’s early career. Whatever it is, it is worth seeing. A highlight is a collection of drawings on the black paper that was once used to cover old ads in the subway. These are interspersed with photographs of examples in situ. But there are 155 works in all, from tiny slivers of collage to the gi-ma-gantic work partly pictured above.