Keith Haring, ‘Subway Drawing’, 1982-1983, Phillips

The present lot, Subway Drawing, 1982-84, was originally installed at the 23rd Street subway station in New York City in the early 1980’s. In 1985 Keith Haring visited his friend Steve Rubell, co-owner of the New York’s infamous nightclub, Studio 54, at his Punk rock club Palladium. Rubell asked Haring to dedicate the present lot owned by his secretary Marilyn, resulting in the inscription along the lower edge of the composition which reads 'FOR MARILYN – K. HARING 85.'

  • Courtesy of Phillips

Signed, dedicated and dated 'FOR MARILYN - K. HARING 85' along the lower right edge.

Property Subject to VAT Section 4 (see Conditions of Sale for further information)

"Keith Haring New York"

Woodware Gallery, New York (September 12 - October 30, 2009)

"Calligraffiti 1984/2013"

Leila Heller Gallery, New York, (September 5 - October 5, 2012)

Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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