Andy Warhol - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Phillips
  • Before Marilyn and Moonwalk, there was Andy the illustrator. Warhol’s career began as a commercial illustrator on New York’s Madison Avenue in 1949, during the massive post-war economic boom. His arrival additionally coincided with an extensive change in the motivations and strategies behind advertising, utilizing applied psychology to influence American consumers to purchase products. This stint as an ad man would further his Pop interest in cultural commercialization and start his artistic career; thus began the first chapter of Warhol’s oeuvre, dominated by charming and light-handed ink drawings.


    As a master of line and contour, Warhol’s consistent and unique drawings and designs piqued the interest of his clients, earning him commissions and collaborations with some of the biggest brands of the day: Tiffany & Co., Columbia Records, and Vogue, to name a few. Though stylistically different from the Pop art that would rocket him to international stardom, these early drawings offer a glimpse at an artist well on his way to establishing an art movement that would change the way the world conceived of contemporary art and its connection to pop culture, morphing from his early successes in the commercial art scene.


    The simple yet sophisticated line drawings contain a child-like whimsy – though that’s not to say Warhol didn’t take his work seriously. As reflected in his early drawings, he took to heart a piece of advice from one of his art teachers who told the young artist to paint for himself, not what others wanted to see. This wisdom would validate Warhol’s desire to draw his favorite things: cherubs, shoes, cats, and often young men. Across these drawings and hand-colored prints, we see Warhol as a compulsive creator, documenting life and fantasy with the stark clarity of ink on paper.

    • Provenance

      The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York
      Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York
      Private Collection, New York

    • Literature

      see Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann IV.111 and 118

    • 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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A Gold Book: two proofs (see F. & S. IV.111 & 118)

Double-sided offset lithograph, on one sheet of wove paper, the full sheet, folded (as issued).
both S. 14 1/2 x 22 3/8 in. (36.8 x 56.8 cm)
Annotated 'XA-03.34' and 'PM20.0258' in pencil on one side, presumably unsigned proofs aside from the bound book edition of 100 signed copies, unframed.

Full Cataloguing

$1,000 - 1,500 

Sold for $1,016

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 16 - 17 April