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Upcoming Exhibition Adman: Warhol Before Pop

April 27–September 2, 2018

A watercolor painting of a leg from the knee down that is purple in color with designs painted in black. The foot of the leg is in a high heel shoe that is yellow with pink designs on it and a pink strap on the top.

Andy Warhol, Shoe and Leg ("December Shoe"), ca. 1956, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

With the backdrop of 1950s New York and its burgeoning advertising industry, Adman: Warhol Before Pop focuses on the formative years of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists.

Adman: Warhol Before Pop provides surprising insights into the beginning of Andy Warhol’s career, from his award-winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little-known gallery exhibitions of drawings and artist books. With over 300 objects – from rare drawings and photographs to vintage advertisements, artist books and recreated department store window displays – many on public display for the first time, Adman provides a comprehensive look at Warhol’s first decade in New York.

Children, shoes, album covers, and women’s fashions, dominate this nascent period of commissioned commercial work and artistic projects. But intimate drawings of young men, archival material from a world tour through Europe and southeast Asia, and drawings produced with his mother, present the complexities of Warhol’s personal journey for success at the start of his career. Foremost to the thesis of this exhibition, Adman lays bare the visual and aesthetic foundation, one dependent on a commercial sensibility, that influenced Warhol’s entire artistic career.

This exhibition is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney and was curated by Nicholas Chambers, senior curator, modern and contemporary international art at Art Gallery NSW. The exhibition at The Warhol is organized by Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s Milton Fine curator of art.


Adman: Warhol Before Pop

This volume is published in conjunction with the exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Adman: Warhol before pop. Essays by Warhol scholars and other experts in their fields provide surprising insights into the beginning of Warhol’s career, from his award‐winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little‐known exhibitions.

Nicholas Chambers, Richard Meyer, Blake Gopnik, Brett Littman, Matt Wrbican, Nina Schleif, Tom Sokolowski, and Ellen Lupton
Hardcover, 248 pages, 150+ illustrations
Co-published by Art Gallery of New South Wales and The Andy Warhol Museum, 2017