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Thousands of previously unseen photographs by Andy Warhol will be made public this Autumn

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Detail from the contact sheet of a Warhol shoot with Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982.
Courtesy: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Thousands of previously unseen photographs by Andy Warhol will be made public this Autumn. Dating from 1976 to his death in 1987, this monumental collection documents the final years of his life. The American creative, famous for his pop art and social standing, was obsessed with recording each passing moment, documenting New York’s dazzling elite and his own private world. The 1980s saw a re-emergence of critical acclaim, mainly due to his affiliation with the prolific artists of the time; this visual diary sees an intimate portrayal of friends and lovers, including portraits of his final partner Jon Gould and fellow creatives Michel Basquiat, Michael Jackson and John Lennon.

Headed by Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer, art professors at Stanford University, California, the Contact Warhol Project received 3,600 contact sheets from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Made apparent by markings on the sheets, it was understood that Warhol only printed seventeen per cent of his photographs, leaving a dazzling amount still be published; these will be put towards a forthcoming book, exhibition and general public consumption. The digital archive is scheduled to go online by the end of 2018.

According to The Guardian, Warhol once said, “a picture means I know where I was every minute”, and as Meyer tells The Guardian these contact sheets are “valuable additions to the field of art history… It is Warhol as you’ve never seen him before”.

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Andy Warhol, Detail from contact sheet,1986
Courtesy: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts