ANDY WARHOL "TOUGH TORSO" 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 but 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.
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.
This drawing, evocative of the book, is a paradigm of Warhol's mastery of line and visionary framing. A sailor's torso, with a trio of subtle heart tattoos, shyly commands the composition. With the lightest touch Warhol masterly portrays this male ideal, with the details of his pose, tightness of trousers, and his physicality. 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 "Tough Torso"
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 "TOP203.055"
16.5"H 13.75 W
Very good condition.
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.
Note 2: While not perceptible in the images, there is a slight impression of elements of another drawing, perhaps a variations of this image, on top of this work in a small section. We can deduce that the pressure of Warhol's pen left an indentation on this sheet as he worked on another drawing. The indentation appears in the area of the subject's hands and thighs and appears to be a similar arrangement. It is a wonderful phantom from Warhol's process.
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