Keith Haring, ‘Untitled (The Blueprint Drawings - No. 1)’, 1990, Artificial Gallery

The Blueprint Drawings portfolio of screenprints are based on a series of unique works on paper (sumi ink on vellum) which Keith Haring originally executed when living in New York between the summer of 1980 and January 1981, an important period for Haring’s early creative career. This was also the time that Haring began drawing in the NYC subways. Later, in 1990, one month prior to his death, Haring revisited the drawings creating a portfolio of 17 screenprints of these very images, marking the last cohesive project of his career. As irreverent as Haring’s images are, the messages conveyed by the artist are meant to confront the viewer head-on. There are references to sex, racism, religion, and AIDS — which he eventually succumbed to in 1990. Haring’s The Blueprint Drawings serve as an early visual history in the life of an artist whose message managed to transcend far beyond his imaginable reach and this voice still resonates today. This work is the largest in the portfolio - signed, numbered and dated by Keith Haring, front of sheet, in pencil.

Signature: Signed by Keith Haring

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