TERRE HAUTE —
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has donated six prints by the pop artist to the Indiana State University Permanent Art Collection.
The prints complement the Warhol Foundation’s 2008 donation to the university of 154 Warhol Polaroids and black and white photographs.
The largest print of the donation, measuring 40 by 59 inches, is “Shoes” from Warhol’s 1980 portfolio of five screen prints accented with diamond dust for extra sparkle. The smallest and earliest work is “Purple Cows (Stamped Indelibly),” a rubber stamp print created in 1967. Other works included in the gift include a hand-colored screen print and a black and white screen print from Warhol’s 1974 “Flowers” series and two screen prints of Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley, from his 1986 “Cowboys and Indians” series.
According to University curator Barbara Räcker, Warhol rose to prominence as a commercial artist in the late 1950s with his whimsical blotted-line drawings of shoes.
It was not until 1980 that he returned with force to the motif. In the “Diamond Dust Shoes” series, arrangements of brightly colored pumps float across a sparkling black ground to heighten the sense of glamour, fashion, and money — possibly in reference to the decade’s high style and excessive culture.
For “Flowers” Warhol abandoned the photograph-based prints of the 1960s and focused on spontaneous line, Räcker said. In the color version, each print is unique in the hand-application of Dr. Ph Martin’s aniline watercolor dyes. The only other time Warhol used a similar technique was in the 1950s to customize offset prints. Warhol’s inspiration for the “Flowers” portfolio came from wallpaper samples and the book “Interpretive Floral Designs” by Mrs. Raymond Russ Stoltz.
Toward the end of his career Warhol turned his attention to the American West with his “Cowboys and Indians” portfolios. Warhol’s intent was not to document the people and history of the West in this series, but to continue exploring myths created by celebrity and mass media.
The notification by the Warhol Foundation that the prints had been donated came as a surprise to Räcker.
“I was emailed an inventory of the prints on Oct. 15 and two days later they arrived,” she said.
“The prints not only complement our current holdings of Warhol photographs and prints in a general sense, but they specifically relate to several works. We have a Polaroid study for the “Diamond Dust Shoes” series and a 1965 photograph-based “Flowers” print. The “Cowboys and Indians” prints create a nice grouping of Warhol cult of personality portraits; we purchased Warhol’s “Mao” screen print in 1973.”
Racker plans to exhibit the new prints next fall in the University Art Gallery.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, located in New York City, was established in 1987 to promote the visual arts.