Watercolors and Drawings of the 1950’s

Watercolors and Drawings of the 1950’s

Andy Warhol, although best known for his silkscreens, was also an excellent draftsman. Before establishing himself as the Andy Warhol we all know today, associated paintings with glamour, fame and all the excesses of postwar American consumer culture, drawing was a constant part of his practice. His Watercolor and drawings Exhibition from the 1950’s include collections, In the Bottom of My Garden, Wild Rasberries and A la Recherche du Shoe Perdu.

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In the Bottom of My Garden by Andy Warhol

In the 1950s, Andy Warhol was working on his commercial art career. Warhol used a “blotted line” technique to develop a signature style for his illustrations. Blotted line combines drawing with very basic printmaking, and it enabled Warhol to create a variety of illustrations along a similar theme. In the Bottom of my Garden incorporates both his commercial art background and style with his budding fine art, Pop art career. Being based off the children’s book, Flower Fairies of Autumn by Cicely Mary Barker, Warhol creates a whimsical scene full of color and his mother Julia’s decorated cursive where he combines it with what would end up being themes in his later pop work, androgynous “fairies,” flowers, and of course sex.

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The Autobiography of Alice B. Shoe – Shoe Portfolio by Andy Warhol

Warhol’s A la Recherche du Shoe Perdu are a fanciful tribute to the importance of shoes in Warhol’s life, being sole print illustrator for the I. Miller shoe campaign in 1955. The collection includes a shoe centrally placed on the page and accompanied by a “shoe poem”, the one-line takeoffs on famous phrases – composed by Ralph Pomeroy with the lettering done by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola, creating a verbal-visual composition mimicking the picture and ad-copy of advertisements. After transforming the conservative to highly conceptual ads, shoes would soon become symbolic of Warhol’s work.

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Omelet Greta Garbo by Andy Warhol

Wild Rasberries, a cookbook by Andy Warhol and Suzie Frankfurt, created in 1959, is a story of a labor of love that lay dormant for nearly half a century. Bohemian hostess Suzie Frankfurt, upon walking into the occasional art exhibits held at Manhattan’s Serendipity ice cream parlor, she came across the work of young artist Warhol. Taken by his playful and curios style, Suzie set up an appointment to meet and their friendship was soon inevitable.  The recipes cater more to the artistic than the culinary, more expressionism than realism.One instructs that you call Trader Vic’s, order a 40-pound suckling pig, then “have Hanley take the Carey Cadillac to the side entrance and receive the pig. Warhol perfected the process as an assembly line, he drew the pictures, a team of assistants colored them in, Frankfurt wrote the recipes, and Warhol’s mother transcribed them. It was in 1997 that the 34 full-color books cultural treasure was discovered by the son of Frankfurt.

In 1950’s, Pop Art was not THE art movement in America, Abstract Expressionism was the reigning style. To see pink cherubs frolicking across an empty plane with delicate flowers covering their gender neutral naughty parts, redefining cookbooks and transforming the conservative shoe, these collections are perfect insight of Warhol’s genius. His successful attempt as an innovative artist lead him to become the most successful commercial artist, collapsing the boundaries of high and low culture art.