Andy Warhol New Works
When most people think of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Campbell’s Soup cans, Brillo boxes, dollar signs and large luminous screenprint portraits of icons such Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Chairman Mao spring to mind. These all date from the 1960s onwards when he exploded on the art scene as a founder and leading exponent of American Pop Art. However a mere few years earlier we see a surprisingly charming and playful side of Warhol when he was a jobbing commercial artist, and this period has not yet reached the stratospheric prices of his Pop Art.
In the mid, to late 50s Warhol created some delightful artist books including In the Bottom of my Garden, which was hand coloured and published by Warhol himself in limited numbers and which he then gave to clients and close friends. Each image is peopled with dumpy little putti or fairies frolicking amongst flowers; this is probably the nearest Warhol got to whimsy, however on close inspection there is a naughty sexiness to the prancing. It is also worth bearing in mind that the fashionable art of the day was Abstract Expressionism, a million miles away from dancing pink cherubs.
The main image from In the Bottom of my Garden is dedicated to a Mrs Demster and is in Julia Warhol’s handwriting; Warhol was very close to his mother and she often did the calligraphy on his 50s work, complete with spelling mistakes and bad grammar.
Most of the pictures are hand coloured with unusually bright touches of fluorescent pink, orange, blue and green watercolour while others are just as pretty and exuberant in black and white. Created between 1956-58 these early witty images incorporate Warhol’s trademark irregular blotted lines, a technique which he learnt at college while training as a commercial artist.
This particular set of In the Bottom of my Garden is especially desirable because if other sets turn up on the market the colours can be murky, or there is no signature or no authentication stamp or, as is usually the case, the set has been broken up and the pictures sold individually.
Whether a seasoned collector of Andy Warhol or simply a buyer of iconic modern art, these highly decorative and sophisticated pictures will embellish any room or enhance any collection. In the Bottom of my Garden comprises 20 pictures (approximately 8.5x11ins or 220x280mm), 13 of which are hand coloured; it has the all-important rubber stamp from the Andy Warhol Authentication Board number A118.100band each image has a handmade silver leaf frame.
September 22, 2022