Keith Haring - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 15, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    Sotheby's, Amsterdam, Modern and Contemporary Art, November 26, 2002, lot 247
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    My contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can. Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.
    -Keith Haring

    Keith Haring became a prominent figure in New York’s East Village art scene of the 1970s and 1980s after receiving attention for the bold and energetic drawings and patterns he drew on the streets of the city and in the subways. The present lot, Untitled from 1984, is an excellent example of how Haring translated his earlier style, honed on the streets of the city, into stunning works on paper and canvas. He reduced his forms and ideas to the simplest primary element: a thick black line boldly outlining his subject matter. Foreshadowing his battle with AIDS, Haring explored darker themes throughout his oeuvre including serpents, monsters, fallen angels, and cannibals. Ostensibly smiling, the multi-ocular creature depicted here seemingly waves at the viewer using tentacle eyeballs with an unbroken gaze. What possible threat this figure represents is impossible to determine for sure, and rendered as it is in Haring’s quick, bold line, the impression it leaves is one of both interested wonder and cautious concern. Haring’s inimitable style is immediately apparent and lends the work an imprimatur and impressionability that is as captivating as the bizarre subject itself.

  • Artist Biography

    Keith Haring

    American • 1958 - 1990

    Haring's art and life typified youthful exuberance and fearlessness. While seemingly playful and transparent, Haring dealt with weighty subjects such as death, sex and war, enabling subtle and multiple interpretations. 

    Throughout his tragically brief career, Haring refined a visual language of symbols, which he called icons, the origins of which began with his trademark linear style scrawled in white chalk on the black unused advertising spaces in subway stations. Haring developed and disseminated these icons far and wide, in his vibrant and dynamic style, from public murals and paintings to t-shirts and Swatch watches. His art bridged high and low, erasing the distinctions between rarefied art, political activism and popular culture. 

    View More Works



Sumi ink on paper
22 7/8 x 28 7/8 in. (58.1 x 73.3 cm)
Signed and dated "K. Haring Oct. 30 1984" on the reverse. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Estate of Keith Haring.

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $137,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Day Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Day Sale 15 May 2015 11am