A Keith Haring mural that adorned the stairwell at Grace House Youth Center in Manhattan is expected to fetch between $3 million and $5 million at auction next month. The work, which features Haring’s seminal character, the “radiant baby,” took pride of place in the youth center since the early ’80s. According to the auction house, Haring painted the work using black industrial house paint– and incredibly– did so without first working out the composition in a sketch or an underpainting.
Gary Mallon, who was the director of the youth center told The New York Times, “When new kids came to that building and they saw all that stuff, they said, ‘Oh my god, this is Keith Haring. Is this real?’” Grace House has since closed however the work has been preserved. According to the NYT, the church next door spent t $900,000 to extract the 13 figure work from the 90-year-old building. See how they did it below.
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Bonhams will offer the first Keith Haring mural ever to come to auction in our Post-War & Contemporary Art sale on November 13 in New York. • One of Haring’s best-hidden treasures, the monumental 85ft 'The Grace House Mural' was painted by the artist circa 1983/1984, up three-stories of the five-story stairwell of Grace House, a former convent and home of the Catholic Youth Organization in Upper Manhattan. The 13 figures, preserved in 15 separate sections, have been described as a “lexicon of Haring’s vocabulary” and contains his iconic figures such as the Radiant Baby, the Barking Dog, and the figures dancing. • Bruno Vinciguerra, Bonhams Executive Chairman, commented: “Keith Haring’s Grace House Mural encapsulates a classic New York story by the ultimate New York artist. Haring’s ingenuity and spontaneity shine through this astonishing monumental work. It’s history and it’s composition make it one of the most exciting lots to come on to the market this year.” • 'The Grace House Mural' will be on view in Bonhams’ Madison Avenue galleries on November 2-13. • #BonhamsNY #Bonhams1793 #Bonhams #BonhamsContemporary @bonhamscontemporary #keithharing #artist #1980s #newyorkart #contemporaryart #postwarart #fineart
It will be auctioned as it was displayed in Grace House, with the original scuffs. You can get all the details of the auction on the Bonhams website.