ANDY WARHOL "FASHION SHOES", 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.
In the mid-1950s after a very successful campaign for shoe retailer Miller & Sons, Warhol became synonymous with shoes. Although he had a parallel art practice, it was difficult to surpass the designation of “commercial artist”.
This untitled illustration is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Warhol's commercial practice and signature look of the era. Here the artist experiments with four variations of women's pointed-toe shoes, in some cases, layering the images on top of each other. These elegant modernist shoes both defined fashionable women's footwear...and Warhol's aesthetic.
With the lightest touch, Warhol renders the shoes with a gentle whimsy, an evocative style that is now synonymous with the artist's formative years as a commercial illustrator in New York City.
This playful example serves as both a glimpse into Warhol's vast imagination and a relic from the depths of his commercial background. Perhaps his early exposure to mass commercialization increased Warhol's draw toward universal cultural archetypes, making this piece a marvelous precursor to Pop Art.
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Untitled "Fashion Shoes"
USA, circa 1954
Ink on manilla paper
Estate number: ARD411.144
8"H 6.75"W (visible)
15.25"H 13.75"W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Provenance: The Estate of Andy Warhol
Detailed condition report by request.
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