The New York Academy of Art was developed in the 1980s by a devoted group of artists and art patrons, including Warhol, to promote and preserve skills training in drawing, painting and sculpture. For over three decades, the Academy has been a bastion of rigorous technical education and a staunch advocate for the importance of training and technique in the contemporary art world. Warhol was himself the product of a classical art education and a deep believer in the necessity of foundational training.
Drawings in Andy Warhol: By Hand date from 1948 to1985 and are from the private collections of dealers Daniel Blau, Paul Kasmin and Anton Kern. The works from the Blau collection have been exhibited in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, and the New York Academy of Art exhibition marks their debut in the United States. The works in Andy Warhol: By Hand are not presented chronologically, but are grouped thematically, with themes including drawings of children, nudes and portraits (including self-portraits).
Andy Warhol: By Hand represents a deep dive into Warhol’s personal drawing practice, developed as an art student and kept up for decades, and the subjects reflect many of the artist’s frequent themes, from classic American iconography to the mystique of celebrity to himself. Comments curator Vincent Fremont, “It is important for people to know the vital role drawing played in Andy Warhol’s life as an artist. By focusing only on Andy’s drawings, this exhibition is a way to highlight without distraction Andy’s innovative process and experimentation which encompassed pen and ink, ballpoint pen, blotted line, graphite, and acrylic paint.”