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Keith Haring

Auction Lot 35279940
KEITH HARING (Pennsylvania, 1958- New York, 1990).
"Dance," April 24, 1988.
Ink on paper.
Unique piece.
Signed and dated on the back.
Measurements: 77 x 111 cm; 95 x 130 cm (frame).

Last Bid : 410000
Auction complete


KEITH HARING (Pennsylvania, 1958- New York, 1990).
"Dance," April 24, 1988.
Ink on paper.
Unique piece.
Signed and dated on the back.
Measurements: 77 x 111 cm; 95 x 130 cm (frame).

In 1988, Keith Haring was at the height of his fame, a year in which his schematic figures grouped in dancing families, sometimes forming towers of organic appearance (in the "Growing" series the bodies are interconnected like vegetal forms) or with the figures aligned horizontally, waving arms and legs, clasped by the shoulders, as in this important original drawing, "Dance". Haring frequented the downtown Manhattan club scene. The dancing figures drink from these contemporary urban environments, and at the same time pick up on the hedonistic and animistic tradition of the fusion of dancing bodies with nature. We refer to archaic rituals and the Dionysian dances of maenads and satyrs. But Haring must also have had in mind Matisse and his chorus of naked dancers, celebrating the return to a mythical golden age. In fact, Haring also somehow harks back to some kind of primitive purity, choosing a synthetic, pre-classical stroke with which he sweeps away a false idea of progress. With this combination of influences and precedents, the artist came up with a style of his own that would make him immortal. His cheerful figures with simple strokes revolutionized the art world.

Considered the figurehead of urban art in the 1980s, Haring's unstoppable career, which led him to become a Warhol colleague and media superstar, began with his work in the New York subway. The enormous popularity of Haring's urban work among the people of New York immediately caught the attention of the art establishment. Consequently, Andy Warhol adopted him into his circle, and the then emerging gallerist Tony Shafrazi organized a resounding solo exhibition for him in 1982 that was to be the launching pad for his unstoppable success. He soon exhibited his work at the gallery of the influential Leo Castelli and established himself as a professional art star.
Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti emerged from the street culture of New York City in the 1980s. Haring's work grew in popularity thanks to his spontaneous drawings on the New York City subway in chalk on black and white advertising space backgrounds. After achieving public recognition, he created large-scale works as murals.His later work often addressed political and social issues, especially homosexuality and AIDS, through his own iconography. Today Haring's work is divided between major private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Bass Museum in Miami; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He also created a wide variety of public works, including the infirmary at Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry, New Yorkand the second-floor men's room at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in Manhattan, which was later transformed into an office and is known as the Keith Haring Room. In January 2019, an exhibition called "Keith Haring New York" opened at New York Law School in the main building of its Tribeca campus.



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