Retrospect Keith Haring
- Medium: Screenprint
- Format: Signed Print
- Year: 1989
- Size: 208cm x 116cm
- Framing details: Not framed
- Edition size: 75
- Signed: Yes
Screenprint In Colours
Featuring a grid of 24 images, Keith Haring’s Retrospect evokes the comic books and cartoons that first sparked the young artist’s interest in art. Each frame contains one of his signature icons from his career, from the androgynous dancing figure, to the guardian angel, the barking dog or the radiant baby.
Emitting energy and joy these figures are characteristic of Haring’s oeuvre and populist ideas of art as something to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. As David Ross, ex-director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, put it, ‘His use of simplified figurative abstract forms and his highly graphic style gave his works an immediate character, the complexity of his puzzlelike constructions pulled the viewer deeply into a unique picture space. Haring’s art radiated energy and he carefully directed that energy beyond the confines of the art world.’
Here that energy goes beyond the traditional galleries of the New York art scene and into the street, the subway and the Pop Shop, where Haring first began selling his work to the masses. Many of the images in this print are originally from the Pop Shop portfolio, which is also sold as individual prints. The Retrospect print was made as a screenprint in seven colours as well as a monochrome version which is no less striking in its simplicity.
Though he had experimented with print techniques such as lithography in the late 70s it wasn’t until 1983 that Haring began making screenprints. Adapted from the world of commercial printing, this method offered a way of creating multiple images with vivid colours and little variation between prints. Haring’s decision to work in this medium was undoubtedly a result of the influence of the father of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol, whose work had impacted Haring greatly as a young artist. It soon became evident that the energy and curiosity Haring demonstrated for painting translated perfectly into printmaking and he began to work with publishers across the US and Europe, producing ever more inventive and daring work. The coloured version of Retrospect was made in an edition of 75 while the monochrome comes in an edition of 10. Regardless of the size, each print from the series demonstrates an element of precision that shows the level of care with which he supervised the process.
By the time of his death, just one year after this work was made, Haring had produced so many prints that the exact number has become impossible to count. There are many unsigned editions on the market, though these tend only to be considered of value if approved by the Keith Haring Foundation.