More than thirty years after the artist’s death, Andy Warhol’s work still hangs prominently in galleries and museums. The pop artist, celebrated for his large, vibrant canvases, glamorized mid-century American consumerism. His iconic pieces can be seen in major art centers like Los Angeles, Paris, and New York. Also among the cities hosting his work; Indianapolis.
The Long-Sharp Gallery, located in downtown Indianapolis, will open doors on their exhibit, Andy Warhol: A Survey of Portrait and Figurative Drawings from the Mid-1950s, in early August. The gallery will feature dozens of Warhol’s drawings and photos. “Warhol's reputation continues to define contemporary art. An exhibit in Indianapolis at this time is particularly timely – the exhibit opens in Indianapolis on August 6th (Andy Warhol’s birthday, albeit in 1928) and is a celebration of the gallery’s 15th year in business,” Owner of the gallery, Rhonda Long-Sharp says.
The Long-Sharp Gallery purchased the drawings from the Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, who were willed much of his work upon the artist’s death. Among the pieces on display is a self-portrait the artist completed around 1955. “Warhol's self-portrait with a butterfly on his head is my favorite drawing presented in this exhibit. I remember the moment I first saw it and knew exactly what it was. It was hard to stop looking at it.” For an artist made famous for his depiction of others, the portrait is significant. Long-Sharp explains, “From a collector’s standpoint, an early self-portrait is unbelievably rare. According to our research, only one from the 1940s-1950s has gone through public auction in the last 20 years.”
“Warhol's self-portrait with a butterfly on his head is my favorite drawing presented in this exhibit. I remember the moment I first saw it and knew exactly what it was. It was hard to stop looking at it.”
In addition to Warhol, the gallery has presented work from other legendary artists like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, and Roy Lichtenstein. Long-Sharp also emphasizes the importance of showcasing the work of local and regional artists, exhibiting pieces from artists like Amy Kirchner and Tamar Kander. “Long-Sharp Gallery routinely exhibits works by artists with studios in the Midwest. Of the eighteen artists the gallery represents, one-third are regionally-based. In addition, we invite artists in the region to exhibit with us from time to time.”
The gallery also uplifts local artists in the area through a partnership with a neighboring hotel. “We curate 8000-square feet of public space as a part of the art program in The Conrad hotel in Indianapolis….public space on the second floor of the hotel is devoted to a rotating group of exhibits showing the works of artists who create in Indiana. ”
The exhibit will be open to the public from August 6th through September
Words by Ollie Morelli