Andy Warhol - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Created during the artist’s time at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Boy and Tree, 1947, offers a unique look into the early practice of 20th century art and pop culture icon, Andy Warhol. An example of the artist’s nascent painterly style and a precursor to the silkscreen practice for which he would become known, the present work depicts a young boy sitting in saturated green grass beneath a tree. Inspired to paint from direct observation, Warhol imbues Boy and Tree with a certain playfulness, experimenting with a more abstract rendering of perspective and vibrancy of color. Reflecting Warhol’s early ambitions as an artist, the present work was created in the moments leading up to Warhol’s career and life-changing move for New York City.


    Warhol painted Boy and Tree while under the instruction of Carnegie Tech professor Sam Rosenberg, one of Warhol’s favorite and most influential instructors. This work, along with Girl in Park and Nosepicker II, have been in the collection of the Warhola family since Andy created the works, presenting a rare opportunity to acquire an early work by the artist.



    Early paintings by Andy Warhol as a group in front of the Paul Warhola residence, near Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania


    • Provenance

      Bequeathed by the artist to the present owners circa 1950

    • Exhibited

      Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein; Dusseldorf, Stadtische Kunsthalle; Bremen, Kunsthalle; Munich, Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus; Berlin, Haus am Waldsee; Vienna, Museum Moderner Kunst; Lucerne, Kunstmuseum, Andy Warhol: Das zeichnerische Werk 1942-1975, 1976, no. 22, pp. 73, 221 (illustrated, p. 73; dated circa 1945)
      Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, Success is a Job in New York: The Early Art and Business of Andy Warhol, March 14, 1989–September 9, 1990
      Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Museum, February 3, 2010–April 1, 2019 (on loan)
      Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Museum, Andy Warhol: The College Years, August 6, 2010–January 2, 2011
      Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pearlstein | Warhol | Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York, May 30–September 6, 2015; then traveled as New York, Betty Cunningham Gallery, Pearlstein | Warhol | Cantor: from Carnegie Tech to New York, December 3, 2015–March 5, 2016, pp. 57, 59 (illustrated, p. 57)

    • Literature

      Ranier Crone, Andy Warhol: A Picture Show by the Artist, New York, 1987, no. 22, pp. 43, 269 (illustrated, titled and dated Child at Play, circa 1945)
      Rudo Prekop and Michal Cihlár, Andy Warhol and Czechoslovakia, New York, 2011, p. 116 (illustrated)
      Anthony E. Grudin, Like A Little Dog: Andy Warhol's Queer Ecologies, Oakland, 2022, fig. 10, pp. 28, 29, 211 (illustrated, p. 29)

    • Artist Biography

      Andy Warhol

      American • 1928 - 1987

      Andy Warhol was the leading exponent of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects, such as Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

      Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably also a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


      View More Works

Property from the Paul and Anna Warhola Estate


Boy and Tree

tempera on Masonite
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm)
Executed in 1948.

Full Cataloguing

$70,000 - 100,000 

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan

Specialist, Head of Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2023