This signed etching from 1989 is a limited edition of 80 from Keith Haring’s The Valley series. The Valley Page 10 shows a line drawing of a chaotic composition that shows three figures with elongated arms, each playing an instrument or singing. Music notes and energy lines emanate from the figures and their instruments, injecting the scene with rhythm and energy.
The Valley series marked a new direction in Haring’s visual language that continued until his untimely death in 1990 at the age of 31. Alongside his Apocalypse series (1988), this series introduces stylistic shifts of more complex compositions and characters such as jesters, masks, skills and martyrs. Completed two years after Haring’s own AIDS diagnosis, The Valley Page 10 is indicative of the artist’s preoccupation with hellish narratives and the end of times.
Haring’s later works such as The Valley Page 10 have been compared within art historical narratives to the chaotic storytelling of Hieronymus Bosch and the fierce liveliness of his friend and contemporary Jean-Michael Basquiat. The Valley series was born from a collaboration with the Beat Era poet and novelist William S. Burroughs, whose text-based ‘cut-up’ method formed the basis of Haring’s pictographic style.