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A body grows from a thread. Urban Knitting

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Keith Haring

Untitled (Subway Drawing)

  • Year1983
  • MaterialChalk on paper, poster, original subway frame made of glass fiber reinforced plastic
  • Dimensions124.5 x 172.7 cm
  • Year of acquisition2009
  • Inventory numberUAB 784
  • On viewGround floor

More about the artwork

Keith Haring came to New York in 1978 on a scholarship from the School of Visual Arts. Inspired by the graffiti scattered throughout the city, he developed his own calligraphic drawing style. His main motifs, always drawn in one go and always as a mere outline, are genderless figures, crawling babies—for him the “purest and most positive experience of human life”—and strange animal creatures. Although his figures seem carefree, Haring always addressed existential political and social issues, such as the fight for equal rights, irrespective of origin, skin color, or sexual orientation. During a subway ride, Haring noticed a blank advertising space covered in black paper, the ideal spot for his drawings. Three of the many thousand drawings left as artworks in public space are part of the Brandhorst Collection. One of these three “Subway Drawings” even features the poster originally glued next to it: an advertising billboard for a 3D film fittingly entitled “The Man Who Wasn't There.” It seems unlikely that such drawings would survive, but as Haring has stated: “because they were so fragile, people left them alone and respected them; they didn’t rub them out or try to mess them up. It gave them this other power. It was this chalk-white fragile thing in the middle of all this power and tension and violence that the subway was.”

Further collection artworks

Andy Warhol, Somebody Wants to Buy Your Apartment Building! (positive), 1986, UAB 600
Andy Warhol Somebody Wants to Buy Your Appartment Building! (positive), 1986
Keith Haring Untitled (Subway Drawing), 1981
Louise Lawler *1947, No Drones (adjusted to fit), UAB 915Crazy, 2011, Verrückt, UAB 916
Louise Lawler No Drones (adjusted to fit), 2010/2011
Werkabbildung von: Andy Warhol, Cindy Johnson, 1984Ausgestellt im Museum Brandhorst in München
Andy Warhol Cindy Johnson, 1984
Andy Warhol, Pat Hearn, 1985, UAB 585aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Pat Hearn, 1985
Andy Warhol, Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980, UAB 566aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980