Never-before-seen drawings and photographs of Andy Warhol will make their world debut in Indianapolis next month at the downtown Long-Sharp Gallery.
The exhibition, Andy Warhol: Investigation of Mid-1950s Portraits and Figurative Drawings, will celebrate Warhol’s birthday and the gallery’s 15th anniversary on its opening date: August 6. Warhol, who died on February 22, 1987, would have been 93 years old.
Gallery owner and Warhol super fan Rhonda Long-Sharp said the gallery has purchased nearly two dozen drawings and a dozen photos over the years from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Long-Sharp said the designs depict people: famous Broadway actresses, dancers he would see in shows in New York City, men in drag, men from the gay community, and others he had. encountered in his life in New York and in his travels around the world.
“As a child he was quite ill and spent a lot of time alone with newspapers and magazines,” said Long-Sharp. “The concept of celebrity was very interesting to him.”
Warhol later became famous for his works by Marylin Monroe, Liz Taylor, and Elvis Presley. The drawings that will be exhibited at the Long-Sharp Gallery are precursors of his most famous works but show that even in his early days, he was fascinated by popular culture, but also avant-garde.
“In this exhibition, we present twenty-three portraits and figures in ink from the mid-1950s,” reads the introduction to the exhibition catalog. “In doing so, we celebrate Warhol’s tenacity, artistry and vision to find beauty in everyone.”
The Polaroids and film photographs taken by Warhol will be on display in the hallway between the gallery and Conrad Indianapolis. They date back to the 1980s, the last years of Warhol’s life. Much like the drawings of the 1950s, Warhol was fascinated by capturing everything around him and as technology developed, Warhol used his camera instead of his pen. He photographed the young artists he worked with, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Long-Sharp said the exhibit will be educational for anyone interested in learning more about Warhol and his work. She has written a 70-page catalog that will be released to record the exhibition, much of which will also be on the walls alongside the designs to tell visitors more about the art. The catalog has been approved for publication by the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Artists Rights Society.
Long-Sharp exhibits and sells works of art at fairs around the world and will show more of Warhol’s works from the gallery’s collection in London later this year.
The drawings, 15 of which are framed for the first time, will sell for between $ 14,000 and $ 125,000. The photos, which are all making their public debut, will range from $ 12,000 to $ 35,000. Long-Sharp advised that people buy art for the benefit of it, not just to add to their assets, and that buying the work of local artists is just as important.
“If people hadn’t bought Andy Warhol’s art, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” she said.
The gallery at 1 Northern Illinois, Office A will serve Warhol-inspired appetizers at the opening, which is open to the public and runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August 6. The exhibition will be open until September.