Andy Warhol: Pre-Pop In Indy

Friday, Oct. 6 marked the Long-Sharp Gallery’s opening night of its “Andy Warhol: Pre- Pop” exhibit. Andy Warhol’s name is closely associated with his pop art creations, but the Long-Sharp exhibit features over two dozen original drawings in a different style created during his first decade in New York City. In addition to the works being on display, many of them are available for purchase.

IUPUI liberal arts alumni Brandalynn White attended the opening night. 

Young Man with Pigeon, Circa 1956. Copyright Andy Warhol, used with permission from Rhonda Long-Sharp.

Young Man with Pigeon, Circa 1956. Copyright Andy Warhol, used with permission from Rhonda Long-Sharp.

“I used to work at the IMA. When I was there, they hosted this giant Warhol exhibit so then I kind of fell in love with him through that. I heard that the authentic exhibit was coming through Indy and knew I had to go on this first Friday.”

“There’s some really cool things here that I haven’t been able to see in person before,” White said. “I’ve seen some of his pre-pop stuff, mostly shoes and some of the cherub pieces they have around. I haven’t see a lot of the hand drawn flowers that are here.”

The gallery is owned and run by lawyer Rhonda Long-Sharp. When asked where her interest for art stemmed, she said, “As long as I can remember, everything about art intrigued me.” She went on to say that the gallery serves a “dual-purpose.”

“My husband and I vowed when we paid off our student loans, that we would buy a piece of fine art. So, ten years later, we bought a piece of art.” Unfortunately for Long-Sharp, she researched the pieces created by supposedly big-name artists and found that the artwork was fake.

“Part of this is to show how it can be done, how to be safe, and what questions to ask and how to go about it,” Long-Sharp said. “We will take a piece off the wall and show you this is what an authentic Warhol looks like. It’s not just for me, about here, it’s also about education.”

The works featured in the exhibit all come from the Long-Sharp Gallery’s private inventory. Each work has a provenance of the Estate of Andy Warhol and has been authenticated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

The small venue brought in a big crowd for opening night.

The small venue brought in a big crowd for opening night.

“In the art world there’s something called provenance. Its translation is the history of the piece, how many hands has it touched, what is its lineage,” Long-Sharp said. “Buying a piece just on provenance requires a lot of investigation. 

Things that require less investigation, when it comes to certainly Warhol, and as is the case with other artists, is are they authenticated? Of course, these have. The provenance is the Estate of Andy Warhol to me. Most stamps are there, every archive number is there, everything you need is there.”

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was set up via Warhol’s will after his death in 1987. 

“The purpose of the foundation, by virtue of Warhol’s will, was to do good,” Long-Sharp said. “They used to, fifteen years ago if you bought a Warhol… You could go to the foundation and say ‘Tell me if it’s authentic, and if it is would you stamp it?’ And they would say yes. In 2012 they stopped authenticating. Now it’s all on the gallery or the auction house.”

 “Andy Warhol: Pre-Pop” will be on display at the Long-Sharp Gallery through November 4, 2017. Long-Sharp Gallery will be hosting a new exhibit focused on women in the arts opening Nov. 10, 2017.