Keith Haring - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Untitled from 1998 is a perfect example of Keith Haring’s dexterity as an artist. Drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol and his contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat, Haring believed that art constitutes the ultimate expression of individuality. This particular lot represents the distinctive elements of creative formation, influenced by previous models yet adapted and personalised to realise unique and inimitable results. In Untitled, Haring uses the image of the Mona Lisa, perhaps the most renowned portrait in Art History, yet defaces her classical representation, superimposing it with his distinctive illustrative style.

    The deconstruction of classical objectivity encourages the viewer to question traditional perception and interpretation. The repeated image of da Vinci’s canvas is adapted to various degrees within its three reproductions. These interpretations form the central segment of the composition, from which Haring’s simple yet poignant line-silhouettes emerge. The artist’s characteristic reduction of form to its simplest, primary elements finds further power in its direct comparison to established art-form. The gestural depictions materialise from the paper, striking and vibrant in their impulsive execution.

  • Artist Biography

    Keith Haring

    American • 1958 - 1990

    Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Keith Haring moved to New York City in 1978 at the age of 20 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By the early 1980s, Haring rose to prominence for his graffiti drawings made in the New York subways and streets. Alongside his friends Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, who he met at the SVA, Haring became a leading figure of the East Village art scene through the 1970s and 1980s.

    Best known for his cartoon-like imagery developed through bold lines and vibrant colors, Haring refined a visual language of symbols that simplified forms to their most essential elements. Exploring the themes of birth and death, sex and war, social inequality, and love, his art bridged the high and low, erasing the distinctions between rarefied art, political activism, and popular culture. Despite his tragically brief career, Haring created a universal visual language embraced throughout the world, and his works are housed in many major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, and Nakamura Keith Haring Collection in Hokuto, Japan.

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black ink, gouache and printed paper collage on paper
99 x 76 cm (38 7/8 x 29 7/8 in.)
Signed and dated '© K. Haring NOV. 19 1988' on the reverse.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £116,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Day Sale

+44 207 318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 16 October 2014 2pm