Keith Haring - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Phillips

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  • The barking dog stands as one of Keith Haring's most iconic subjects, first appearing in a series of  subway drawings made in the early 1980s. Haring’s use of canine imagery reflects the politically charged status of both dogs and homosexual men in New York at the time. During the 1970s, public anxiety about the number of dogs in the city exploded. Fuelled by racism and gentrification, public health campaigns pushed for dog owners to clean up after their pets, and "put children before dogs". The subtext of the campaigns was not lost on the gay community, as it echoed the homophobic public discourse around gay sex, becoming increasingly visible as liberation movements grew in power. Haring was not alone in using the dog as an emblem of queer resistance, and was joined in appropriating this symbolism by Jenny Holzer, David Wojnarowicz, and Martin Wong. Each artist used the dog as subject to challenge the surrounding narrative of fear and contagion. Within this context, Haring’s Dog not only reflects the need for voices against injustice but highlights a period of creative revolution against the dehumanization of gay desire.


    Statuette of Anubis, 332-330 B.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Myron C. Taylor, 1938

    Whilst a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Keith Haring developed an interest in semiotics and became captivated by how different cultures utilised symbols for communication. As a graffiti artist navigating the risks of creating art in public spaces, he was especially drawn to the iconography of ancient Egypt and hieroglyphics in particular, due to their ability to convey complex ideas through deceptively simple motifs. As a result, he developed an idiosyncratic visual language of symbols that can both be drawn quickly and also convey profound emotions. The recurring dog motif in his work, often depicted barking, dancing, or standing on two feet like a  human, echoes the imagery of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god associated with funerary rites and grave protection. Anubis is commonly represented as a dog-man hybrid with a canine head and a human body. Haring's Dog, adorned with drawings of dancing figures, man-dog hybrids, erotic scenes, and more, playfully subverts the traditional notions of protection linked to Anubis. In this way, Haring challenges the authority and governmental power symbolized by the dog, turning it into a dynamic expression of rebellion and creative dissent.


    Keith Haring exhibition at Edition Schellmann, Munich, 1985. Image: © Schellmann Art, Artwork: © The Keith Haring Foundation

    The Dog lithographic edition came to fruition due to a dilemma of Haring’s. The artist had compiled a series of drawings to accompany a text written by the artist Brion Gysin, which they intended to be published together in a book titled Fault Lines. However, due to the explicit nature of these illustrations, Haring found difficulty in locating a publisher. In seeking help, he turned to Jörg Schellmann, an established leader in art publishing. Schellmann agreed to publish the book on one condition: that Haring produce another edition with him. From this, the Dog edition was born, a print that has amassed notable popularity over the years. Schellman’s willingness to support artists’ creative concepts marked him as a notable art publisher and allowed for the production of innovative and exciting editions.

    “In 1985, Keith had made a series of drawings for a text by Brion Gysin and wanted to turn this material into a book. However, he did not succeed in finding a publisher due to the heavy sexual imagery in his drawings...When I looked at the drawings, I could see the problem, but spontaneously offered to publish the book myself if Keith were to do an object in an edition for me – assuming that the book would hardly pay for its printing costs. Keith was very pleased and promised to come up with something – which indeed he did: he made the Dog multiple. As expected, the book sold slowly over the years, whereas the Dog garnered great popularity over the 30 years of its existence.”
    —Jörg Schellmann 

    • Provenance

      Personal copy of the publisher and part of the Archive of Edition Schellmann since time of publication

    • Literature

      Klaus Littmann pp. 48-49
      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 142-143

    • 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

Works from the Archive of Edition Schellmann to benefit the Ars Publicata Project


Dog (L. pp. 48-49)

Lithograph, on BFK Rives paper, with full margins.
I. 110 x 84 cm (43 1/4 x 33 1/8 in.)
S. 116.5 x 90 cm (45 7/8 x 35 3/8 in.)

Signed and dated in red pencil, an unnumbered proof aside from the edition of 40 in Arabic numerals (there were also 10 artist's proofs in Roman numerals), published by Edition Schellmann, Munich and New York, unframed.

Full Cataloguing

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £95,250

Contact Specialist

Because of technical difficulties our sale is delayed. We should resume soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.
+44 20 7318 4024

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 17 - 18 January 2024