Keith Haring - Editions & Works on Paper New York Monday, October 24, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Haring discovered the place that would be for him what Tahiti was for Gauguin: the Paradise Garage."1  —Ingrid Sischy, former editor of Artforum and Interview Magazine 

    Keith Haring was a staple at Paradise Garage, a legendary nightclub celebrated for its multi-cultural gay dance scene and commemorated as the birthplace of the modern nightclub. Haring is credited as the “key figure behind the exuberant convergence of art, music and performance that developed there.”2 From the early 1980s up until its closure in 1987, Paradise Garage was central to Haring’s world to the extent that he would schedule his trips abroad for his international exhibitions around the nightclub’s biggest nights, “leaving on Sundays and returning before or on Saturdays.”3  


    This print was gifted to the present consignor by Haring himself, as a thank you for her documentation of his legendary Party of Life at Paradise Garage in 1984, an annual event that ran until 1986. The artist completely transformed the club environment with huge, spray-painted banners and tarps adorned in his distinctive iconography of hieroglyphic dancing figures. The party featured a performance from Haring’s good friend Madonna, who debuted two songs from her upcoming album Like a Virgin while wearing a custom painted two-piece suit from Haring. This was the only party Haring threw at Paradise Garage, moving the next two Parties of Life to the Palladium in order to account for the rapidly increasing guest list. Haring recounts that “…the energy level at this party was so intense because it was the party to get invited to. In the preceding weeks, it became the most coveted invitation in New York.”4 


    Madonna at the Party of Life, 1984

    "[Keith] would look at dance and see things, and he would freeze moments in his mind, and go into the studio and paint them. You could feel the movement and rhythm in his work."5 —Fred Brathwaite (Fab 5 Freddy)In his journals, Haring described how the dance scenes at Paradise Garage inspired the creation and considerable production of hieroglyphic dancing figures throughout the 1980s. Haring’s 1983 woodcut, Untitled, depicts two figures engaged in the iconic dance move, ‘the wave,’ a movement the artist particularly loved from the electric boogie style. The wave mimics the motion of water, as well as an electric current, which Haring successfully captures in this vibrantly colored and dynamic print. A current of energy rushes through the arms of the figures and sparks fly around their point of connection as the ‘waves’ pass from one dancer to another.  


    1 Ingrid Sischy. “Kid Haring.” The Keith Haring Foundation. 1997.  

    2 Deitch Projects. “Paradise Garage.” The Keith Haring Foundation. 2001. 

    3 Ibid.  

    4 Keith Haring. “Party of Life 1984.” Keith Haring. P. 293. 

    5 Fred Brathwaite. “Conversations.” The Keith Haring Foundation

    • Provenance

      Gift of the artist

    • Literature

      Klaus Littmann p. 29

    • 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

Property from a Private Collection, New York


Untitled (L. p. 29)

Woodcut in colors, on Japan paper, with full margins.
I. 19 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (49.5 x 62.2 cm)
S. 23 3/4 x 29 3/4 in. (60.3 x 75.6 cm)

Signed, dated, dedicated 'FOR COURTNEY', and numbered 'AP 6/6' in pencil (an artist's proof, the edition was 60), unframed.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $44,100

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24 - 26 October 2022