ANDY WARHOL "DOUBLE ROSE" DRAWING, 1954
Andy Warhol is arguably the most important American artist of the 20th century. In the 1950s, he was an in-demand and celebrated illustrator working for New York's toniest publications (like Harper's Bazaar) and elegant shops (such as Bonwit Teller), in addition to many smaller independent fashion companies. He was renowned for his decidedly modern aesthetic that was gentle, playful and optimistic.
During this era, Warhol repeatedly included a number of signature elements that reappeared in different advertisements, packaging or branding including butterflies, elongated shoes, angels and a very legible casually cursive font (that was often done by Warhol's mother).
This striking illustration is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Warhol's commercial practice and signature aesthetic of the era. Here, the artist renders roses on either side of the sheet, giving the impression that he was either experimenting or preparing for a project. We can also deduce that this was done in the earlier part of the decade, before Warhol embraced the ball-point pen and was frugally trying to conserve paper.
Realized with thick black ink, Warhol depicts the flowers in a stylized and whimsical way, an evocative style that is now synonymous with the artist's formative years as a commercial illustrator in New York City.
Works like this exude elegance and vitality reminding us that Warhol was an exceptional and adroit draftsman. During Warhol's pop era the artist's hand receeds as he employs assistants and reproduction techniques. In the drawings from the 1950's we can truly understand and appreciate the artist working and experimenting in his studio.
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Untitled "Double Rose"
USA, circa 1954
Ink and graphite on paper, double-sided
Estate number: AR 412.011
11.5"H 7"W (work)
8.25"H 4.25" (visible)
14"H 10.25"W (framed)
Newly framed with museum glass (framed images coming soon)
Detailed condition report by request.
Note: this work is accompanied by a provenance document from Christie's and the Warhol Estate and Foundation.
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