Andy Warhol Martha Graham Portfolio (F & S II.387-389)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Martha Graham (F & S II.387-389) Year: 1986 Size 36 x 36″ 91.4 x 91.4cm Medium: Portfolio of three screenprints on Lenox museum Board Edition: Edition of 100, 25 AP, 5 PP, 10 HC, 25 numbered in Roman numerals, signed and numbered in pencil on verso. Published to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Danc, Inc. New York
Andy Warhol Martha Graham Portfolio (F & S II.387-389)Meaning & History
Martha Graham's choreography revolutionised Modern dance as we know it. In his portfolio of screenprints, Warhol conveyed the expressive and dramatic qualities of Graham's movements.
Martha Graham is a portfolio of three screenprints executed in 1986, depicting a series of dance poses performed by one of the most famous American dancers. Dynamic and elegant, the prints were published to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Martha Graham Centre of Contemporary Dance and pay tribute to the woman who changed modern dance.
Warhol reappropriates some of Graham’s most famous choreography, and is able to capture the drama of movement and clothing with a sculptural quality: colouring the works on a dark background and emphasising the creases in her dress which flys away from the body (Letters to the World), the image has dimension and weight. In contrast to the flight of Letters to the World, The Lamentation centers around a ballet that is performed in the seated position, and Warhol’s purple articulation create a haunting and arresting image.
Warhol had also created a portfolio for Merce Cunningham to raise funds for his dance school in 1974; it seems that for the artist, dance, by its expressiveness, provided fertile material for modern and contemporary art. Certainly dancers who pushed boundaries, such as Graham, the first dancer to perform at the White house, has become a historical icon.
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