Keith Haring - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create a language. There is within all forms a basic structure, an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines that becomes a symbol. This is common to all languages, all people, all times.'
    —Keith Haring

    First appearing in a subway drawing series from 1980-85, the barking dog is one of Keith Haring’s most well-known subjects. Both dogs and dog-human hybrids feature prominently in his works. Interpreted as a universal symbol of resistance and protection, barking to call out social injustice, the dog warns viewers of the abuses of power that pervade everyday life in America and beyond.

     

    Keith Haring photographed with one of his paintings in April 1984. Image: © Jack Mitchell/Getty Images
    Keith Haring photographed with one of his paintings in April 1984. Image: © Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

    Haring’s use of canine imagery reflects the politically charged status of both dogs and gay men in New York at the time. In the 1970’s public anxiety about the number of dogs in the city exploded. Fueled 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 David Wojnarowicz, Jenny Holzer, and Martin Wong. Each artist used the dog as subject to challenge the surrounding narrative of fear and contagion. Haring’s Blueprint Drawings from 1990, defy this environment of oppression: a dog is worshipped by a chanting crowd after being ‘beamed’ by a spaceship. Haring mocks the hypocritical nature of larger society, who flippantly reject the unknown. 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.

     

    Keith Haring, The Blueprint Drawings: one plate, 1990. Artwork: © The Keith Haring Foundation
    Keith Haring, The Blueprint Drawings: one plate, 1990. Artwork: © The Keith Haring Foundation
    • Provenance

      Schellmann Art, Munich
      Private Collection, Munich

    • Literature

      Klaus Littman, 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

      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.

      View More Works

34

Dog (L. 48-49)

1986-87
Lithograph, on BFK Rives paper, with full margins.
I. 110 x 83 cm (43 1/4 x 32 5/8 in.)
S. 116.4 x 89.8 cm (45 7/8 x 35 3/8 in.)

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

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £107,100

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022