This signed lithograph from 1985 is a limited edition of 90 from Keith Haring’s Ludo series. The final print of Keith Haring’s Ludo series, Ludo 5, shows an image of a human-like hand reaching upwards in panic from a body of water. This print is rendered in Haring’s striking linear style, produced exclusively with bold, black outlines and the colour red.
Ludo 5 is reminiscent of Haring’s Apocalypse series from 1988 in its hellish subject matter that evokes a sense of chaos and violence. Throughout the Ludo series, Haring maintains a dominance of the colour red, depicting eyes, limbs, and other body parts in abstracted forms. Energy lines emanate from the reaching hand and create ripples in the water, creating a sense of movement and dynamism that Haring is so well known for.
There is a sense of anxiety running through each print that differs from much of his earlier work, alluding to a turning point in Haring’s life. As the AIDS epidemic overwhelmed his community in the mid-1980s, Haring’s work began to reflect the difficulties he was facing in his personal life. Throughout his oeuvre, Haring maintained a simplicity in line and form that appealed to children and adults alike, despite his sometimes more complex subject matter, like that of the Ludo series.