Following two successful years in the town of Palm Beach, Sotheby’s is returning for a third season, taking up residence in a new, state-of-the-art gallery and exhibition space at the Slat House at The Royal Poinciana Plaza.
George Condo, The Madness of My Mind, 2016, oil on canvas, © George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York , NY
To unveil the brand-new gallery and exhibition space, set to open on Nov. 19, just ahead of Art Basel Miami Beach, Sotheby’s will present Condo x Haring: Expressions of the Imagination, a major selling exhibition of paintings, works on paper and sculpture by the two contemporary icons, featuring both artists’ signature and most sought-after iconography, presented side-by-side in their first-ever dedicated showcase together. At present, the show will feature approximately 30 works in total, with price points ranging from $200,000 to $7 million. Altogether, the group of works is estimated to be worth in excess of $50 million.
“Palm Beach has always been a destination of choice for our clients and a key market for our private sales business,” says David Schrader, Sotheby’s Global Head of Private Sales. “We’re thrilled to kick-off a new season with an exhibition of pivotal works by George Condo and Keith Haring: two of the most frequently sold artists in our Palm Beach gallery. And adding yet another remarkable highlight to the vibrant and burgeoning local art scene.
George Condo and Keith Haring's friendship catalyzed in 1983 when Haring, along with Andy Warhol, attended an exhibition at Anderson Theater Gallery in New York, which included numerous works by a then 26-year-old Condo. Introduced by mutual friends, Haring was instantly captivated by the raw, avant-garde style of Condo’s abstract figuration—so much so that he personally purchased several of the works in the exhibition. By this time, Haring's popularity was explosive among the downtown New York graffiti and hip-hop scene and his new brand of pop art began growing not only domestically, but internationally as well. Condo, who was still relatively unknown outside of New York, was enamored with the freedom and immediacy of Haring’s work and sought to learn more from his iconic style.
Soon after their initial encounter, Condo and Haring began meeting regularly and quickly fostered a close friendship that subsequently transcended into a collaborative, artistic relationship, often visiting each other and working together in their respective studios. In fact, several of Condo's most recognized works (including Dancing to Miles, 1985, now in the collection of The Broad Foundation) were created in Haring's East Village studio. Until Haring’s death in February of 1990, the two remained extremely close confidantes. Their profound influence on each other’s style ultimately helped sculpt and define the art of their generation.
For Condo, Haring's practice and vision represented a departure from the formality of Post-War art of the 1960s and 1970s. Haring's signature iconography captured an everlasting, universal spirit of youthfulness and joy. Similarly, Haring was influenced by Condo's intuitive and spontaneous process, having witnessed Condo paint his Expanding Canvases, and admiring how his use of shapes and forms manifested itself differently in each of his works. Haring saw Condo as a burgeoning talent, a sophisticated mind and an inimitable tastemaker. He juggled the labor of creating intellectually challenging art while always surrounding himself with a cultured, diverse and eclectic network of friends. Both artists inherited the legacy of the masters who came before them, namely Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder and Jackson Pollock. And they revolutionized the idea of abstract figuration with their own transformative use of line and form.
“Today, works by both Condo and Haring are highly sought-after by collectors and institutions all over the world, and Sotheby’s is thrilled to present a selection of seminal examples to our collecting community in Palm Beach,” says David Rothschild, SVP, Senior Specialist, Private Sales. “The newly reopened gallery will provide our clients with a local destination for all of their collecting needs and continue to drive the private sales arm of our business.”
Sotheby’s Palm Beach will open to the public on Nov. 19 at The Slat House at The Royal Poinciana Plaza.
Keith Haring, Untitled (Aztec Snake Goddess), 1984, acrylic on muslin, © Keith Haring Foundation
Photography by: Courtesy of Sotheby's