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  • Andrew Warhola, a.k.a. Andre, sent this card to friend and college classmate Stuart Williams well before he became successful artist Andy Warhol. During their time together at Carnegie Technical Institute (now Carnegie Mellon University), Warhol studied to become a commercial illustrator but was fascinated by dance. He joined the Modern Dance club while at school and two of his earliest artistic successes were dance themed paintings included in the Associated Artists of Pittsburg’s 100th-anniversary show in 1948. Warhol often said:

    "I never wanted to be a painter, I wanted to be a
    tap-dancer."
    Warhol’s passion is on display in this Christmas card where dancers are posed in evolving ballet positions. Their form and surroundings are reminiscent of a twirling music box figurine, evoking the sentimentality of Christmas and Warhol’s fondness for dance. Made in a playful hybrid of his commercial style and blotted line technique, this early work is an intimate example of the artist Pre-Pop.

     

    After graduating, Warhol moved to New York City where he worked as a commercial illustrator for several years. Warhol created other Christmas card motifs during this time, including a series for Tiffany & Co. Later, as a successful Pop Artist, Warhol continued to celebrate Christmas through his art, making festive designs that are still reproduced seasonally. As a more intimate precursor to his artistic career, this hand-addressed card offers a glimpse into Warhol’s personal relationships, leading us to wonder what his casual inscription "STUFF" might reference. 

    • Condition Report

    • Description

      View our Conditions of Sale.

    • Provenance

      Gift of the artist
      Stuart Williams Collection, Vermont
      Mark Ciufo Collection, Vermont

    • Literature

      see Jesse Kornbluth, Pre-Pop Warhol, no. 5, pp. 38-39 (another example illustrated)

    • 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.

       

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70

Christmas Card (see K. 5)

circa 1948
Blotted line and gouache in colors, on wove paper, addressed in the artist's hand on the reverse.
10 3/8 x 20 5/8 in. (26.4 x 52.4 cm)
Signed 'André' and inscribed 'THANK YOU STU- WILL SEND "STUFF" TOMORROW.'

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$18,000 - 24,000 

Place Advance Bid
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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 20 - 22 April 2021