ANDY WARHOL "HOT SHORTS" DRAWING, 1955
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is arguably the most important American artist of the 20th century. He not only defined Pop Art, but had unrivalled influence on artists and image-making.
In recent years there has been new scholarship and increasing commercial interest in Andy Warhol early works, material created prior to Pop Art.
During the 1950's Warhol became established in New York City as a trendy illustrator contributing to a wide number of fashion publications and retailers. His simple line drawings were modern and gentle, with a subtle but unmistakably gay touch. In a short period of time, he created an aesthetic that was both versatile and distinctively his.
Like the consummate artist that he was, Warhol was frequently drawing. The images he created independently from fashion commission were romantic and hopeful and unabashedly gay. It is worth emphasizing that Warhol was almost exclusively dedicated to drawing during this era, only creating a handful of paintings - which were intended to be used for window displays.
Taschen, the legendary art book publisher, recently released the book Andy Warhol: Love, Sex and Desire 1950-1962 which celebrates his drawings of the male form and features this evocative work. This drawing appears on page 48.
This complex drawing is a testament to Warhol's mastery of line and composition. Warhol is able to compress and capture the sitter's body on to the picture plane with remarkable simplicity and sophistication despite the unconventional pose and foreshortening. With the lightest touch, Warhol masterly portrays this figure of leisure and insouciance with the lovely details of his tight jean shorts, fingernails and light patches of body hair. Another reminder that Warhol was an exceptional draftsman.
As the Warhol market continues to gallop to a stratosphere beyond, there are fewer and fewer examples of unique, original works in circulation.
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Untitled (aka "Hot Shorts")
USA, circa 1955
Black ballpoint pen on manila paper
Paper is cut to the edges of the image
Stamped on verso by the estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. and numbered on the reverse "TOP205.045"
16.75"H 14"W (work)
16"H 13.5"W (visible)
22.5"H 20"W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Very good condition.
Provenance: The Estate of Andy Warhol
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