by Modem
© Modem

until Saturday October 16 2010

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
T : +33 (0)1 42 72 99 00
7, rue Debelleyme
75003 Paris

Alessandra Bellavita

In collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce an exhibition of drawings never before shown by Andy Warhol. These 60 drawings date from the early 1950s when he first came to New York and was spending a great deal of time in the dance world.

Warhol and Dance explores the cultural milieu that welcomed the artist and provided him with his first “scene” to record with what has become as his individualistic style of portraiture, ink drawings on Manila paper.

Among these works, we have figures from both the worlds of emerging modern dance like Charles Weidman, John Butler, Paul Draper, as well as ballet personalities like Jacques dʼAmboise, Karel Shook and Alexandra Danilova. Clearly, Warhol was interested in all forms of dance including ethnic performance styles as the cast of characters also included Nala Najan, Mesita, Mara and the Cambodian Dancers. It is very likely that he saw the first performances of the Royal Cambodian Ballet in New York, held in the early 1950s and was undeniably hungry for the subtle distinctions between one dancerʼs profile and another, as evidenced by the simple, determined line drawings with which he could inscribe both the look and personality of his subject. Indisputably, Warhol was a clinical observer of the exotic as well as the classical qualities that he saw in this highly specialized sub-culture.

Quite wonderfully, there are several drawings of bodies moving in space, where Warholʼs quick ability to catch the gesture and the body position simultaneously offers a more rounded perspective on his level of interest at that time.

© Modem