Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Four gelatin silver prints stitched with thread
Sheet: 27 3/8 × 21 5/8 in. (69.5 × 54.9 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
Untitled (Cyclist) belongs to Andy Warhol’s series of so-called “stitched photos,” works in which multiple copies of identical photographs have been sewn together with thread and arranged in even rows of four to twelve images. The grid format that Warhol used to organize the photographs evokes the mechanical look of a contact sheet and, more immediately, the artist’s earlier silkscreen paintings. Photography was an essential component of Warhol’s work; in addition to his frequent appropriation of mass media imagery, he took thousands of photographs, often of friends and acquaintances. Here, his male subject, posed frontally and cropped just below the shoulders, is anonymous, although the centering of the photograph on the groin area suggests a sexual undertone. Of equal interest, however, are the formal rhythms created by the repetition of what was likely a spontaneous snapshot. By seeing the image again and again, we notice the abstract interplay of black and white contrasts as well as formal patterns—the angular lines of the street, sidewalk, and bike bars, for example, and the curved shape of the handlebars, wheel, and cyclist’s knees.