Keith Haring’s Bayer Suite 5 is a signed lithograph from his Bayer Suite series that was commissioned in 1982 by Bayer AG on the occasion of the release of the heart medication ‘Sali-Adalat’. A limited edition of 70, the print shows a line drawing of a figure running, with its arms and legs spread outwards and red action lines to emphasise the figure’s movement. The dotted landscape that the figure runs on adds a jarring sense of kinetic energy to the print.
Haring’s highly symbolic figures like the one shown in Bayer Suite 5 were fundamental to his work that conveyed a variety of important themes that concerned contemporary life in 1980s New York. Taking influence from the Pop Art movement and artists like Andy Warhol, Haring utilised thick black lines and a flattened picture plane to make his art accessible and engage with diverse audiences.
The Bayer Suite series engages with themes of movement and the heart to form a celebratory sequence of works that relate to Bayer’s newly released heart medication. The simplistic form and positive visual language of Bayer Suite 5 recalls the artist’s early subway drawings, where he spent his days drawing in white chalk on the empty advertising panels of the New York subway system.