As part of the sale, the auction house offered paintings by Andy Warhol, dating from long before he became a figurehead of Pop Art.
The artworks were “Nosepicker I” and “Living Room.” They were painted in 1948, while Andy Warhol was studying art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (now known as Carnegie Mellon University). These paintings bear no resemblance to the brightly coloured, saturated and contrasting canvases for which the American artist became known. They are more reminiscent of the expressionist works of George Grosz or Willem de Kooning.
Yet there is no doubt that these are genuine Warhol paintings. They are both attributed to “Andy Warhol” and not to “Andy Warhola,” the real surname of the American artist. In addition, “Living Room” has been featured in countless exhibitions, including the recent retrospective “Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
This is the first time that “Nosepicker I” and “Living Room” have appeared on the art market. They have remained in the artist’s family for more than seven decades. According to Phillips, they nearly vanished in the 1970s after the Warhola family car, in which they were stored, was stolen. “Fortunately for the family and for art enthusiasts across the globe, the car was recovered, with the artworks completely unscathed,” explains the auction house.