This signed etching from 1989 is a limited edition of 80 from Keith Haring’s The Valley series. This series marks a shift in the artist’s style and The Valley Page 4 shows a line drawing of a boy falling from the sky.
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. In each print the image mimics the story told in the text displayed, with this print showing a line drawing of a boy falling from the sky.
The ominous texts by Burroughs are copied by hand on sixteen sheets of tracing paper, which were photo-etched onto copper plates and printed in red ink. The text which is also titled, ‘The Valley,’ is a chapter from the author’s novel, The Western Lands from 1987. This print tells the story of a boy who attempted to escape the Valley in a flying machine but failed in his mission and plummeted to the ground.
Much like Haring’s Apocalypse series (1988), this series introduces stylistic and thematic shifts in the artist’s style, depicting characters and narratives that are indicative of the artist’s preoccupation with the end of life. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, The Valley Page 4 is representative of the way in which Haring’s work and activism became intensely embroiled in his personal life and the socio-political context of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.