Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
In the Bottom of My Garden/A Bound Book, containing twenty-one lithographs (including the cover), c. 1956 (Feldman & Schellmann, IV86A-105A). Identified on the cover. Lithographs, three with hand-coloring, on paper, sheet sizes 8 9/16 x 11 in. (21.5 x 27.7 cm), board bound.
Condition: Subtle toning to edges of some sheets, cover with gentle staining and with minor soiling.
Provenance: From the artist to his friend and Factory associate Vincent Fremont in the late 1970s; to Todd Alden Projects, New York; purchased by the current owner in 1984.
N.B. The drawings borrow - as Warhol often did - from several sources, including illustrator J.J. Granville's Les Fleurs Animées of 1884. Even the title derives from another source: the Fyleman and Lehmann song "There are Fairies in the Bottom of my Garden," made popular by singer/actress Beatrice Lillie.1 Warhol's figures are fanciful, bawdy, and campy, depicting putti frolicking and fornicating in a landscape of giant flowers. There are references to homosexuality beyond Lillie's popularity with gay audiences.
Warhol's mother, Julia, scribed the text. As Mrs. Warhola's command of English was weak, it is unlikely that she understood the double entendre of "Do you see my little pussy" placed beneath a drawing of a girl cherub with a tiny cat folded into her skirt or "the end" written on the hind cheeks of a putto.
This book also uses Warhol's blotted line technique (see Lot 68A). The coloring for this volume was inconsistent both in the way the pages were painted and the colors used. Todd Alden likens it to an old unfinished coloring book.2 This book was also created as a promotional piece like the previous lot, so it is not surprising that Warhol would give a copy to his long-time friend Vincent Fremont.
Director and producer Vincent Fremont began working for Warhol in 1969, and continued to do so until the artist's death. He was especially influential in Warhol's films, and became the executive manager and vice-president of Andy Warhol Enterprises. A copy of a letter from Fremont accompanies the lot.
1. Donna de Salvo, "The Genesis of Andy Warhol' Printmaking" in Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1987 (Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.: New York, et al.), fourth edition, 2003, p.318.
No additional issues to report (see additional photographs to review each page of the book).
The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.