Unseen Andy Warhol sketches on show at Frieze
Pre-Campbells soup cans drawings reveal pop artist as draughtsman during his first decade in New York
For a touchingly unmechanised look at the great pop artist's work, head to Daniel Blau's stand at Frieze Masters (F13) in Regent's Park this week. Munich gallerist Blau is showing an incredible cache of Warhol drawings dating from the late 1940s and 1950s.
"When you think of Warhol, you don't think in terms of an Old Master-style artist who sits behind the desk drawing with China ink and a quill,” says Blau. “He did just that, as these drawings show."
This is the third showing of Blau's collection; some pictures - discovered quite recently in the Warhol archives - were displayed at The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht back in March; others were displayed at Art Basel in June. Many were sold at these fairs, for between €20,000 and 70,000 – modest for a Warhol. The highest valuation for Frieze's selection is £150,000.
Naturally, even the most casual followers of the great pop artist will know that he came from a commercial-art background and sketched many magazine illustrations early in his career. Still, these images, produced between 1949 and 1959, during his first decade in New York, show Warhol's later preoccupations – glamour, vice, mass media – rendered with a craftsman’s skill, rather than art factory executive's diktat. Read more about the exhibition in today's Independent, and take a look at our Warhol books, for a thorough guide to his work.