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    Sale 1999

    Post -War And Contemporary Art Afternoon Session

    14 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 459

    Keith Haring (1958-1990)


    Price Realised  


    Keith Haring (1958-1990)
    signed with initials and dated 'KH 88' (lower center of the fourth panel); numbered sequentially 1, 2, 3, 4 (on the reverse of each panel support)
    four panels--acrylic on canvas
    each: 96 x 48 in. (243.8 x 121.9 cm.)
    overall: 96 x 192 in. (243.8 x 487.6 cm.)
    Painted in 1988. (4)

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    "What I like about children is their imagination. It's a combination of honesty and freedom they seem to have in expressing whatever is on their minds-and the fact that they have a really sophisticated sense of humor."
    Keith Haring, Keith Haring: the Authorized Biography, John Gruen, New York, 1991, p. 113.

    "I found out that I can make any kid smile. It's probably from having a funny face to begin with-and looking and acting like a kid. And kids can relate to my drawings, because of the simple lines."

    Keith Haring, Keith Haring: the Authorized Biography, John Gruen, New York, 1991, p. 114

    "Children are bearers of life in its simplest and most joyous form"
    Keith Haring, Keith's Kids, Andrea Codrington, Sphere Magazine 1997.

    Keith Haring and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. In the spring of 1988, when the sponsor of the annual Children's Easter Egg Hunt on the White House Lawn in Washington, D.C. invited Haring to paint a large scale mural in conjunction with the event-Keith jumped at the opportunity. By 1988 Haring had a long history of working on projects for and with children. A short list of the most memorable projects include Woodhall Medical and Mental Health Center mural, Brooklyn, 1986; Necker Children's Hospital mural, Paris, 1987; Carmine Street Pool mural, New York, 1987; Luna-Luna Park carousel and murals, Hamburg, 1987; Grady Hospital pediatrics emergency room mural, 1988; Boy's Club Pitt Street mural, Chicago, 1989; Hospital Princess Grace, Montecarlo, 1989; and Rush Presbyterian Hospital mural, Chicago, 1989-more than 27 projects total from 1984 until his death in 1989.
    Keith planned the Easter Egg Hunt event with special care. Whenever possible, following a public project, it was Haring's intention to leave a piece of himself behind in the form of artwork for the benefit of others-to make them smile or increase their awareness. He painted the mural on four canvases instead of painting on a found structural wall to make the works easy to transport and exhibit. Haring must certainly have been pleased with his plan to donate the mural to the Children's National Medical Center not far away. The Hospital installed the painting prominently on a wall so that for many years children and adults could gaze upon it to have their fears and anxieties melt away to be replaced with a smile.


    Acquired from the artist

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property to be sold by Childrens National Medical Center, Washington D.C.