Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art acquires works by artist Andy Warhol

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces a series of new acquisitions of works by artist Andy Warhol that includes two gifts and a recent purchase. The works will be exhibited, together with works already in the Crystal Bridges collection, in the museum’s Twentieth-Century Art Gallery, in time for holiday viewing.

Andy Warhol, Untitled, ca. 1949. Mixed media on board. Gift of Martha Sutherland and Celia Sutherland Wirth. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,

Andy Warhol, Untitled, ca. 1949. Mixed media on board. Gift of Martha Sutherland and Celia Sutherland Wirth. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,

First among the recent acquisitions is Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3], which has previously resided in private collections. Painted in 1962, this bold, graphic, black-and-white image is one of four Coca-Cola paintings produced by Warhol during this critical period in his development, in the early days of Pop Art. “This is one of the great icons of early Pop,” said Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi. “In it, Warhol celebrates Coca-Cola as an ‘equalizer’—it’s the same product for anyone who drinks it, anywhere in the world, rich or poor. The work presents a bold image at large scale, signaling Warhol’s transition from a commercial illustrator to Pop artist.”

As a counterpoint to this iconic signature image, the second of the recent Warhol acquisitions presents Warhol at an earlier stage. The untitled work, depicting a sleeping woman and man, was created by Warhol as a student at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), and has been in a single private collection. A classmate of Warhol’s, Martha Sutherland, purchased the painting directly from the artist in 1949, when he still went by the name Andrew Warhola—the work is signed on the reverse with “WARHOLA” in pencil.

A third acquisition of Warhol works will not be immediately exhibited, but is another important new addition to the Crystal Bridges collection. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has donated to the museum a book of 21 dye diffusion transfer prints (Polaroid Polacolor Type 108) from 1971. “These unique works document both the social circle that the artist cultivated, and the individuals who sat for his painted portraits,” says Bacigalupi. “We look forward to sharing this gift with Crystal Bridges’ guests in the near future.”

More information: http://crystalbridges.org/

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