Hello everybody! My name is Ivy and I started working as an intern in the exhibitions department about a month ago. One thing I hope to do in my time here is to try and keep the exhibitions blog updated, so here I am thinking about how Mondays are always a grab bag - you never know what might happen, but you’ll survive as long as you’ve got a cup of coffee, or two. Last week there was a chance of snow, this week I found myself stuck in 8AM traffic and then watched one of the most valuable cars in the world being rolled through a window onto a flatbed truck. Unfortunately, this post is not about the Warhol Art Car, it is about how Mondays remind me of one of Warhol’s blotted line drawings, Automat (Coffee Cups). This drawing can be found in the Process Gallery on the 5th floor. It is shown with the original and the print. The final print is of fifteen coffee cups but paired with the original you’re looking at thirty coffee cups. Thirty! I would like to unofficially title this piece, One Heck of a Monday.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Automat (Coffee Cups), 1950s
ink on Strathmore paper
28 5/8 x 38 1/8 in. (72.7 x 96.8 cm.)
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
The ink blot technique used to create this work and many others by Warhol is done by drawing something in pencil on a piece of non-absorbent paper, such as tracing paper then gone over in ink. That paper is then pressed onto a more absorbent paper, transferring it from one piece of paper to another. This results in a print of dotted and broken lines. This technique is a combination of drawing and simple print making. Warhol often colored in his prints with water color dyes and was able to do many different versions of the same drawing. All he had to do was go over the original in ink again to make another print. Automat is a good example of how the prints can vary making each one unique, especially since there are so many of the same object in this one drawing. His larger drawings were done in sections, requiring multiple pressings like the Warhol staff requires multiple cups of coffee. You can learn more about Andy Warhol’s blotted line technique here or check out the video in the Process Gallery to see it in action any day of the week, except Monday.