Previously unpublished Andy Warhol drawings on the theme of love, sex and desire are going to be published in a collection for the first time.
Warhol’s foundation is releasing a major study of his depictions of young men in intimate moments. The art dates from the 1950s, when Andy Warhol was working successfully as a commercial illustrator but was struggling to be appreciated as a fine artist.
Unfortunately, Warhol experienced homophobic backlash when he tried to exhibit his drawings in 1950s New York.
Michael Dayton Hermann, of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, said he had been “mesmerised” by images described as a precursor to Warhol’s fanatical portraiture of those around him, all captured with his Polaroid and 35mm cameras.
Hermann added that the line drawings showed an “emotional vulnerability in a way that a camera just doesn’t” and that “a lot of times you don’t see in Warhol’s work”.
Unknown Male With Stamps (1958)
Standing Male Torso (1956)
Hermann noted the importance of the simple line drawings in contrast to how Warhol later wanted to be a machine and created works which were machine-like:
“When you have a drawing of someone, the artist’s hand is there. There isn’t a barrier between the artist and the subject … It’s a much more personal and intimate way to capture someone and it tells you a lot about the artist as much as the subject.”
Hermann’s forthcoming book, Andy Warhol: Early Drawings of Love, Sex and Desire, will be published by Taschen this summer. It will include hundreds of drawings, of which “a good portion have previously not been seen”, Hermann said. “This is the first time that one monograph has been dedicated to comprehensively illustrating and reproducing these works.”
Twenty of the drawings will also feature in a forthcoming Warhol retrospective at Tate Modern in London, which opens in March.