About the Artist: The king of Pop art and one of the most famous artists of the past century, Andy Warhol’s oeuvre is filled with iconic works—from the “Campbell’s Soup Can” series (1961–62) to the (1962). Though he is often associated with printmaking—specifically silkscreen—Warhol was also an incredibly talented illustrator and draughtsman, and drawing was an integral part of his practice throughout his career. His early drawings on paper bare a resemblance to both continuous line and blind contour drawing techniques, giving his work a sense of ease and immediacy. While working primarily within commercial advertisement, he pioneered the blotted line technique, which synthesized graphite drawing on paper with elements of printmaking. Warhol continued his practice of drawing through the last years of his life and career, and the work from this later period exemplifies a long and storied career’s worth of honed skill and technique.
What You Need to Know: On view through July 29, 2023, Long-Sharp Gallery presents “Andy Warhol: A Life Well Drawn” in both the gallery’s physical and virtual spaces. Featuring fifteen works on paper that Warhol completed in his last decade, the collection of drawings reflects on the passions and interests the artist nurtured throughout his career—including fashion, animals, and contemporary advertising. The works in the exhibition have a provenance of and authentication by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. A digital exhibition catalogue—which can be found here—accompanies the show, which traces the evolution of Warhol’s drawings from the 1980s and provides elucidating editorial notes for individual works.
Why We Like It: Though Warhol is most well-known for his prints and multiples, his drawings offer unique and invaluable insight into his artistic vision and a glimpse of the artist’s hand. The selection of works within the exhibition, all dated from the 1980s, operate in a sense as a retrospective of the elements of Warhol’s career. In (1982) we can see the enduring interest in the convergence of fine art and advertising. (1983) from the “Endangered Species” series highlights his continued fascination with themes around untimely or shocking ends. Further, the quality of line and compositional concision that can be seen across all the works on view highlight Warhol’s mastery of the medium. With just a few efficient marks, the specific subject matter is apparent, even in the more austere drawings such as (1983). Here, the smooth outlines of two figures next to zigzagging lines clearly depict the Washington Monument’s reflection in water. On the whole, “Andy Warhol: A Well Drawn Life” offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of one of history’s most famous artists.
See inside the exhibition and featured works below.