and Dance!

Andy looks uneasy in his 1948 Modern Dance Club photo at Carnegie Tech. Was it because he was the only guy in the dance class and the school was filling up with hard-bitten World War II vets? Whatever. Don’t let that moody Warholian look fool you. He had his own dance fever. It was in his heart, and broke out in his art. 

He stood by his love of dance by sending I Like Dance and Dance in Black and White to the big annual Associated Artists of Pittsburgh show, and he kept on making art about dancers when he moved to New York. It was a big time for dance. The New York City Ballet began in 1949, and ballet was a hot art form. “It’s what everyone was going to see,” says Warhol archivist John Smith, who has pulled together all the links between Andy and dance for the new Warhol and Dance exhibition. 

That’s a lot. Here are Andy’s early paintings from his Carnegie Tech days, his drawings of dancers from the New York City Ballet, his cover of Dance Magazine, his odd dance diagrams, of Martha Graham and Rudolph Nureyev, film, videos, photographs, and even the programs of the dance performances he went to. “Dance represents glamour and romance for Warhol,” says Smith. “You can see it in this show.” 

Warhol never said that himself, but his brother John is willing to observe, “Andy always wanted to be a tap dancer.”