"A Hand of Bridge" (1953)
About this artwork
This drawing shows a preliminary design for the first edition copy of Samuel Barber’s opera, ‘A Hand of Bridge’, published by G. Schirmer in 1961. The extremely short opera centres on two couples who are playing bridge, with each character in turn singing a fantasised monologue. Composed by Barber, the text was written by his lifelong friend, Gian Carlo Menotti and the opera was first performed at the ‘Festival of Two Worlds’ in Spoleto, Italy, in June 1959. This drawing is typical of Warhol’s commercial illustrations, with his blotted-line technique combined with vibrant colouring. The calligraphy was almost certainly added by Warhol’s mother, Julia, who regularly assisted with her son’s illustrations, adding colour and calligraphy, and even signing his name.
- title: "A Hand of Bridge"
- accession number: AR00245
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- medium: Embossed paper in frame
- date created: 1953
- measurements: 32.00 x 23.80 cm (framed: 58.40 x 35.60 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.