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Louisiana opens the exhibition year 2013 by showing about 200 of Andy Warhol's earliest drawings
No Title (Questions All America is Asking), c. 1953. White and black ink and graphite on paper, 35,3 X 42,8 cm. Courtesy of Daniel Blau Munich/London© Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Art Inc.
HUMLEBAEK.- It was something of a sensation when around 300 drawings by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) from his earliest years were found quite by chance. The drawings had been registered in Warhol’s posthumous estate and archived in 1990, but since then they had lain untouched. When the Germany gallery owner Daniel Blau happened to be granted access to the drawings and noted that this was an exceptional collection of fine works – by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century – the basis was laid for the present exhibition, Andy Warhol. Early Drawings. This is the first time the drawings have been shown at a museum. The exhibition is being shown for seven weeks in the period 8 January - 21 February 2013.

Many of the drawings, which are from the 1950s, are sketch-like in character with subjects that the artist, with his keen eye, selected and traced from newspapers and magazines, and transformed with his simple lines into pictures. It is obvious that Warhol drew inspiration from the world of which he was himself a part in his early youth, when he worked as a draughtsman and illustrator in the advertising and fashion industry and frequented various milieux in the city of New York. Films, photographs, fashion magazines and the pictorial universe of the newspapers were the models for the subjects he turned into images that even then were unmistakably Warholean in their expression and sowed the seeds of Pop Art in the next decade.

Warhol was born in Pittsburgh and studied art at the Carnegie Institute in the 1940s before he moved to New York in 1949. At the time art education was influenced by teachers who came from Europe, and this is one of the reasons why many of Warhol’s early drawings were particularly reminiscent of the known works of German and Austrian artists such as Grosz, Dix, Schiele and Klimt. Even older sources of inspiration such as woodcuts from the 17th and 18th centuries also seem to have influenced his choice of subjects.

It is mainly the human figure, the type, that fascinates Warhol – innocent children in staged postures, gay men and macho men with an attitude, young girls with dreaming expressions, film divas and bourgeois ladies and men in spectacles with introspective gazes. Subjects that Warhol captures in a simple, sometimes almost minimalist style. These are drawings that reflect the sensibility and empathy of a young, talented artist long before fame took hold of him, and the Warhol myth was created and took over.

The exhibition is being shown in the West Wing of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.





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