This signed lithograph from 1989 is a limited edition of 60 from Keith Haring’s Stones series. Stones 3 shows a black and white abstract pattern and is a striking example of the Pop artist’s ability to create complex images while maintaining the simplicity of line he is known for.
Produced as lithographs just one year before he passed away from AIDS-related complications, the works in this series are reminiscent of Haring’s early subway drawings, stealthily executed in white chalk on the black paper panels put up before a new advertisement was pasted in place, with which he made his name.
Stones 3 inverts Haring’s characteristic bold black lines to white to create an elaborate labyrinth or maze made up of his dancing figures’ limbs and concentric circles that could be seen as heads. Though the labyrinth is an enduring symbol of western art since the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, the work also expresses Haring’s debt to non-western traditions, echoing the bold lines of Pre-Columbian art – especially those of Nazca lines – and aboriginal art. By bringing together these various influences, the Stones series can be seen as the epitome of Haring’s hybrid style that knew no difference between high and low, ancient and modern, east and west.