Before the Soup Cans – Early Warhol | Woodshed Art Auctions

Before the Soup Cans – Early Warhol

A Young Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol began his career long before the advent of Pop Art. Born to immigrant parents in Pittsburgh PA in 1928 Andrew Warhola was a reclusive and sickly child which he later credited as being very important in the development of his personality. With a gift for drawing and writing Andy benefited from free lessons at The Carnegie Institute (Now the Carnegie Museum of Art) frequently winning awards for his artwork.

After graduating High School Andy’s intentions were to become an art teacher, but plans changed and he enrolled in The Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) where he studied commercial art. While there Warhol became the art director of the student art magazine, Cano, illustrating a cover in 1948 and a full page interior illustration in 1949. These are believed to be his first two published artworks. Having developed a distinct style of his own utilizing a loose blotted ink style of line drawing, Warhol graduated and moved to New York City.

Some of his first assignments in New York were for RCA Records, I. Miller Shoes, and the Fleming Joffe leather company. When not working on assignments Warhol filled sketchbooks with freehand drawings of friends and still life objects.

It is interesting to note that Andy’s interest in ‘multiples’ which was so brilliantly exploited in his later silk screen works of the 60s and 70s (Elvis, Marilyn, Electric Chair) can be seen much earlier in his freehand sketches. Case in point: This drawing prefigures Warhol’s interest in multiples with a collection of similar but not identical butterflies drawn in ink and colored with crayon.

In this portrait of a young man one can see the loose line style that became a signature style of the artist. This drawing was done with ink and colored pencil

Both drawings will be available during our January 25th sale.