ARTIST ROOMS artist essay
Andy Warhol is one of the most influential American artists to emerge in the post-war period. ARTIST ROOMS includes an impressive selection of 232 works which span the artist’s entire oeuvre, and reflect his eclectic career and vibrant personality.
After graduating and moving to New York in 1949, Warhol quickly became established as one of the city’s most sought-after, commercial illustrators, working for magazines such as Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. However, it was in the early-sixties that he began to produce the work for which he is most celebrated.
As the most famous proponent of Pop Art, his earliest ‘Pop’ works depict consumer goods and images from the press. This evolved to reveal his enduring fascination with celebrity and mortality, with many of his most powerful images touching on these themes. Although Warhol’s renowned screenprinted paintings, such as his portraits of the rich and famous, have become his defining work, he also extensively explored the medium of photography, created ground-breaking films, and produced some inspirational advertising campaigns.
The d’Offay Donation comprises a superb array of important works representing all phases of Warhol’s career and a cross-section of media. This includes an exceptional collection of fifty early works on paper, ranging from a drawing he made in 1948 whilst studying at Carnegie Institute of Technology, to his experimentation with gold leaf following a round-the-world trip in 1956. It also features his iconic multiple ‘Skulls’ from 1976, and the repeated ‘Self-portrait Strangulation’ from 1978. The collection includes a unique selection of late diptychs as well as the celebrated four-part ‘Camouflage’ of 1986. Highlighting his photographic work is a group of spectacular stitched photographs as well as a series of intriguing Polaroid self-portraits. The collection is complemented by 126 Warhol posters from all periods of the artist’s career, including his films.