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Andy Warhol - Popstars - drawings and collages

Rolling Stones - Love You Live (Mick Jagger), 1975
Thaddeus Ropac
In collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Warhol's death, this exhibition will combine drawings and collages of pop stars, one of his primary themes. Presenting major works from his Popstars series dating from between 1975 and 1986.

Andy Warhol, who started out in the 1950s as a commercial artist in New York, was intimately familiar with the medium of drawing and photography. Drawing was relevant to the artist in a twofold way : On the one hand, he used it as a "tool", producing preliminary studies for his well-known subjects, such as the "disaster" paintings, portraits, and icons of consumerism ; on the other hand, he presented the drawing as a work of art in its own right, where he used the "artificial processes" of overhead projection, silk-screen printing, or superimposed photography.

Andy Warhol's Popstars graphite drawings were developed in a creative process comprising two stages. First, Warhol took Polaroids of pop musicians, actors, and singers, which he subsequently projected onto the wall, and onto the paper mounted there, by means of overhead projection. Finally, using a gray graphite pencil, he traced the outlines that seemed most significant to him in order to mark the features of his sitters. These graphite drawings may also be considered as models and studies for the colored acrylic and silk-screen pictures executed by Warhol of the same personalities.

The artist invites the exhibition's visitors into his private viewing room. There they will encounter Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli, Charles Aznavour, as well as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, over and over again. From 1963 onwards, Warhol entertained a particularly close relationship with the Stones. Mick Jagger, androgynous icon and paragon of the zeitgeist of those days, was committed to paper by Warhol's reduced and perfect penciling. In the mid-1970s, Warhol made the designs for the album cover of Love You Live, which appeared in 1977 at Virgin Records. The original drawings of the Love You Live series and the ingenious portraits of Mick Jagger are certainly the climax of the exhibition.

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