Somewhat of a sensation!
It is extremely rare for the discovery of an art treasure to point to new directions in an artist’s oeuvre. This is, nonetheless, exactly what has happened with the unusual unearthing of several hundred drawings from one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Andy Warhol.
Aproximately 300 drawings by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) from his earliest years were found quite by chance. The drawings had been registered in Warhol’s posthumous estate and archived in 1990, but since then they had lain untouched. In 2011 the Germany gallery owner Daniel Blau happened to be granted access to the drawings and noted that this was an exceptional collection of fine works.
Many of the drawings, which are from the 1950s, are sketch-like in character with subjects that the artist, with his keen eye, selected and traced from newspapers and magazines, and transformed with his simple lines into pictures. It is obvious that Warhol drew inspiration from the world of which he was himself a part in his early youth, when he worked as a draughtsman and illustrator in the advertising and fashion industry and frequented various milieux in New York city. Films, photographs, fashion magazines and the pictorial universe of the newspapers were the models for the subjects he turned into images that even then were unmistakably Warholean in their expression and sowed the seeds of Pop Art in the next decade.
Warhol was born in Pittsburgh and studied art at the Carnegie Institute in the 1940s before he moved to New York in 1949. At the time art education was influenced by teachers who came from Europe, and this is one of the reasons why many of Warhol’s early drawings were particularly reminiscent of the known works of German and Austrian artists such as Grosz, Dix, Schiele and Klimt. Even older sources of inspiration such as woodcuts from the 17th and 18th centuries also seem to have influenced his choice of subjects.
"Warhol" - David Bailey's 1973 documentary on the Pop Art icon Andy Warhol.
David Bailey, self-taught photographer and one of the prime architects of the Swinging Sixties, was given unprecedented access to Pop Art legend Andy Warhol and his followers, in an attempt to penetrate the expressionless exterior of a man, who was one of the most controversial figures of his generation. Initially banned by British courts, on the grounds that is was offensive and indecent, this verdict was later overturned. The film explores his paintings and features candid interviews with the artist covering sexuality, his 'Factory' workshop, and his life as a worldwide celebrity.
Sound: Frederick Sharp and Mike Billing
Camera: Ernest Vincze
Film editor: Mike Nunn
Director: William Verity
This is the first time a selection of about 200 of these drawings will be shown at a museum. The exhibition is curated by Poul Erik Tøjner, Director of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Features works © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./billedkunst.dk 2013.
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