"The Runaway Pigeon" (1953)
About this artwork
Throughout his career Warhol created numerous artist books based on his drawings. However, he also designed book covers for other authors. These drawings are a study for the front and back covers of a novel by Leslie Edgley called ‘The Runaway Pigeon’ (titled ‘Diamonds Spell Death’ outside America). The story involves a heist in a diamond merchants followed by a chase across several American states. The two illustrations combine marbleised paper, which Warhol was experimenting with at this time, and his blotted-line technique. There are also handwritten annotations and a rectangle marked around part of the drawing, indicating a selection that he would perhaps like to use as the cover.
- title: "The Runaway Pigeon"
- accession number: AR00243
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- medium: Watercolour
- date created: 1953
- measurements: 26.90 x 29.50 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2016.
Andy Warhol was born 'Andrew Warhola' to Slovakian immigrant parents living in Pittsburgh in America. Warhol's subject matter was taken from popular culture, in the form of advertising, comics, magazines and packaging. He was able to produce his works quickly by transferring images onto canvas or paper through photography and screenprinting, sometimes with the help of assistants. Warhol stated that he wanted to make works that showed no trace of having been produced by hand. His interest in mass production reflected the fast-developing consumer culture he recognised in America. His New York studio, 'The Factory,' became a popular meeting place for artists, drop-outs, celebrities and bands.