Keith Haring, the cartoon artist who became famous first for his graffiti drawings in the subway tunnels of New York, purposely made his affordable for the public (opening the “Pop Shop”) after his success in the art world pushed his gallery prices into the stratosphere. Everybody has seen Haring’s simply outlined cartoon figures in some form or another, from T-shirts to posters to paintings. That he died of AIDS at the age of 31 in 1990 is also part of his legend, as he was one of the earliest activists to speak about the illness.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced today the installation of Haring’s 1986 “Two-Headed Figure,” a red aluminum figure that features a baby’s head on one end with a dog’s on the other,
on the grounds at Walker’s Landing, the terrace on the east side of the pooled spring.
The sculpture was bought at auction at Sotheby’s in New York last November for $578,500. The museum press release said its acquisition “was made possible by Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr.” Sybil Robson Orr is museum founder Alice Walton’s first cousin and a film producer.
In a press release, Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi said the sculpture is a “rarity.”
The work features two of his signature creatures, here as dual heads on a singular body, leaning over their respective shoulders to engage one another in dialogue. It’s pure delight and whimsy with an invitation to join the conversation.
An exhibition of Haring’s early work is now on display at the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris in an exhibition titled “Keith Haring: the Political Line.” His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Centre Pompidou Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva.
Keith Haring (1958-1990)
Two-Headed Figure, 1986
Polyurethane paint on aluminum
96 x 82 x 56 in. (243.8 x 208.3 x 142.2 cm)
Made possible by Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr