This lithograph on wove paper from 1982 is by Keith Haring, one of the most influential and adored artists of the 20th century. Untitled depicts two dogs standing upright like people. The print is rendered in black and white with Haring’s characteristic strong black lines.
The movement and energy of the image suggests they are dancing or talking to one another. The two central figures that dominate the composition are surrounded by other shapes rendered in similar black lines. The print is full of zig zags, swirls and curved lines. These lines, which seem to be inspired by Aztec line drawings, bring dynamism to the print and a sense of constant movement.
The strong lines seen in Untitled are typical of Haring’s work. The ‘energy lines’ emitted by the central dog-like figures are seen in Haring’s other works, such as the Growing series, and evoke the power of people working together, community and solidarity. Haring returns to the dog figure later in his artistic career, producing the Dog series from 1985-86. The barking dog, as seen in this print, has become an iconic symbol created by Haring. The dog first appeared in his subway drawing series from 1980-85 as a symbol to represent authoritarian government, abuse of power and oppressive regimes.
Untitled is an example of the lithographs Haring made earlier in his career. Soon after this print, in 1983, he began making screen prints. This change in technique was likely due to the medium being popularised by Andy Warhol, one of Haring’s most important influences.