ANDY WARHOL "SPREAD" 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 an unrivaled influence on artists and image-making.
In recent years there has been new scholarship and increasing commercial interest in Andy Warhol's early works, specifically the material created prior to Pop Art.
During the 1950s Warhol established his reputation 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 a signature aesthetic that was versatile yet distinctively his.
Like the consummate artist that he was, Warhol was frequently drawing. While fashion illustration was his livelihood, he was more inspired creating male portraiture and erotica. Such images were romantic, hopeful, and unabashedly gay. Unsurprisingly, there was little commercial interest in such works at the time of creation, even in cosmopolitan New York City.
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 has encouraged a new generation of collectors and curators to re-examine Warhol's early explicitly gay material.
This drawing, evocative of the book, is a paradigm of Warhol's mastery of line. Positioned in the center of this work is a man's nude midsection, legs spread, confronting the viewer. The simplicity and ease of Warhol's stylized aesthetic offers a gentle twist on the provocative subject matter.
With the lightest touch, Warhol masterly portrays the male sex. Another reminder that Warhol was both an exceptional draftsman and a gay pioneer in the visual arts.
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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USA, circa 1955
16.75"H 13.75"W (sheet)
Black ballpoint pen on manila paper
Very good condition.
Framed with museum glass.
Stamped on verso by the estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. and numbered on the reverse "TOP213.007"
Provenance: The Estate of Andy Warhol
Note: This is a unique, original drawing by Andy Warhol. It will also be included in the future Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné that is currently being compiled by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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