Andy Warhol: 1950s Drawings brings together 150 never before seen works on paper from the late 1940s through 1960. They show Warhol as a skilled draftsman and great experimenter. Using ink and graphite, Warhol investigated the possibilities of the hand-drawn line, and in the course of this developed his characteristic blotted-line technique, which involved tracing projected photographic images onto paper and blotting the inked figures to create variations on a theme. This exhibition reveals a lesser-known side of Warhol and provides unique insight into the foundation of Pop Art.
The impact of these drawings is best described by the authors of From Silverpoint to Silver Screen: Andy Warhol 1950s Drawings, a seminal book edited by Daniel Blau and published by Hirmer Verlag, Munich, in 2012 after bringing to light a related body of works on paper:
“First and foremost, the large array of drawings – traced, cut out or in other ways so clearly bearing the insignia of the artist incessantly at work – is a demonstratio ad oculos in every sense of the word, meaning that it shows us a human being taking in the world, not only through his eyes but already in image form. Warhol often finds his imagery in street photography but transforms the realism of photography into an emblematic representation. It can be said that, even at this perhaps very pre-formative moment in his artistic career, he shows us his amazing ability to iconify what is out there – reality. From this perspective, the drawings presented in this […] exhibition become a seminal experience of the aesthetic practice and philosophy of the image-maker, the image expropriator, the image-disseminator, Andy Warhol.” - Poul Erik Tøjner, Marjan Scharloo, Michael Semff , From Silverpoint to Silver Screen: Andy Warhol 1950s Drawings
After exhibiting a group of small and unusual abstract paintings by Andy Warhol in 1998, Anton Kern Gallery curated Warhol antePop, an exhibition of early 1960s drawings in 2004. The group of drawings currently on view was discovered in the flat files at the Andy Warhol Foundation’s warehouse space in 2011-2012, and marks the third exhibition by the American artist at the gallery.
The publication, From Silverpoint to Silver Screen: Andy Warhol 1950s Drawings, will be available during the exhibition. This book accompanied exhibitions at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; the Tylers Museum, Netherlands; and Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Pinakothek der Moderne, Germany (all 2013). The book includes essays on the young Andy Warhol and the art scene of the 1950s by Poul Erik Tøjner, Marjan Scharloo, Michael Semff, Vincent Fremont, Daniel Blau, Sidney Picasso, and James Hofmaier.