Keith Haring, ‘Montreux Jazz Festival 1983’, 1983, Rennert’s Gallery

Sproi-i-i-ing! Haring's silkscreen poster, full of childlike kinetic energy, was printed with several different color combinations of this single design to promote the 1983 Montreux Jazz Festival, the 2nd-biggest of its kind in the world, held on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland each year. Of course an artist as popular as Haring would be commissioned for this event – in 1983, the lineup was frankly absurd: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Freddy Hubbard, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, Rickie Lee Jones and Willie Dixon were all performing.

Lot 296
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Publisher: Albin Uldry, Paris

About Keith Haring

Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and '80s.

American, 1958-1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York