Collection Spotlight: Unidentified Man on Bike, Andy Warhol

Title: Unidentified Man on Bike

Artist: Andy Warhol

Nationality: American, 1928–87

Date: ca. 1980

Medium: gelatin silver print

Credit: Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2008.1.128. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Unidentified Man on a Bike was donated to The Block Museum as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, which was developed by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Warhol left behind an archive of more than 60,000 silver gelatin prints and Polaroids. The Legacy Program has given more than 28,500 of these photographs to nearly 200 educational institutions across the country. The goal of the program has been to expand access to Warhol’s work and distribute it to a wide and diverse range of institutions and artistic communities.

Although Warhol is best known for his Pop Art screenprints, he was also a prolific photographer. Warhol often used his Polaroid photographs as the basis for commissioned portraits, screenprints, and drawings. Unidentified Man on a Bike, however, is a different kind of Warhol photograph. Warhol, especially during his later years, carried a 35mm camera everywhere. His photography exhibits a stunning range of work and commitment to the form, and images he produced reveal both clear and nuanced depictions of life in New York City. Over the course of his time in New York, Warhol photographed strangers, friends, celebrities, animals, landscapes, and still lifes. Unidentified Man on a Bike is a scene from Warhol’s everyday experience and lends new perspective and context to his body of work.

Sarah Montell Hansen (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 2014)

Block Collection Spotlight invites a closer look at objects in the Block Museum permanent collection from students, staff, faculty, and museum audiences

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