Discovering early insights into an artist’s oeuvre is the equivalent of stumbling upon gold in the art world. Such is the excitement kindled by the findings of 300 previously unseen works by 20th century American artist Andy Warhol. Stumbled upon quite by chance, the sketches were registered in the artist’s posthumous estate and then archived in 1990, only to be accessed by German gallery owner Daniel Blau in 2011.
Many of the drawings depict childhood scenes – likely to be observations of Warhol’s own earlier years. Children play in the street, and people dance in the sketches, which are today believed to be valued at up to £150,000. At least, that’s what Blau hopes to fetch for them when a select few are exhibited at the upcoming Frieze Art Fair in London. (No big surprises there, when one considers that his 12ft painting Eight Elvises was sold for $100m in 2008.)
Mr Blau, who describes the drawings as “absolutely outstanding”, believed they could be mistaken for the works of Matisse, Picasso, or even Klimt.
“When you think of Warhol, you don’t think in terms of an Old Master-style artist who sits behind the desk drawing with China ink and a quill. He did just that, as these drawings show,” Blau told The Guardian.
The sketches shed a new light on the pop artist, famous for his vivid observations of popular culture – extending to Marilyn Munroes, and Campbell’s soup cans. Alternatively, here, the world is presented to Andy Warhol – the skilled and sensitive draughtsman.