Untitled (‘Crawling Baby’), 1988
Marker pen, plastic case
15 7/10 × 11 4/5 × 3 9/10 in
40 × 30 × 10 cm
Unique work on plastic case, featuring Haring’s iconic crawling baby figure. Executed in Antwerp in 1988 for a fellow artist, Pierre Mertens, who was also represented by the same gallery, Gallery 121 (Antwerp), who exhibited Keith Haring’s work. Signed and dated by Keith Haring in blue marker pen, ‘K. Haring 88’, additionally with the artist’s insignia. Also signed by Pierre Mertens (verso).
Keith Haring rose to prominence in 1980s New York within the East Village art scene alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer. He bridged the gap between the art world and the street, graffiting city subways and sidewalks before committing to a studio practice. Haring united the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists such as Jean DuBuffet as he developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic that comprised energetic, boldly outlined figures against solid or patterned backdrops. His major themes included exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and the threat of nuclear holocaust; Haring boldly engaged with social issues, especially after receiving an AIDS diagnosis in 1987. Today, his work sells for seven figures at auction and has been the subject of solo shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Albertina Museum in Vienna, among other institutions.
High auction record
US$6.5m, Sotheby’s, 2017
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)