Al Hirschfeld, ‘Celine Dion’, 1998, Alpha 137 Gallery
Al Hirschfeld, ‘Celine Dion’, 1998, Alpha 137 Gallery
Al Hirschfeld, ‘Celine Dion’, 1998, Alpha 137 Gallery

Hand signed and numbered from the limited edition of 275.
Albert "Al" Hirschfeld (June 21, 1903 – January 20, 2003) was an American caricaturist best known for his simple black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars. Hirschfeld’s drawings stand as one of the most innovative efforts in establishing the visual language of modern art through caricature in the 20th century. A self described “characterist,” his signature work, defined by a linear calligraphic style, appeared in virtually every major publication of the last nine decades (including a 75-year relationship with The New York Times) as well as numerous book and record covers and 15 US postage stamps.

His work is represented in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery – Smithsonian Institution, and Harvard’s Theater Collection. He drew numerous public figures, including George Harrison, J.F. Kennedy Jr., and Madonna. Hirschfeld authored several books including Manhattan Oases and Show Business is No Business in addition to 10 collections of his work. He was declared a Living Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission in 1996 and a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. The winner of two special Tony Awards for theatrical cartoons, he was given the ultimate Broadway accolade on what would have been his 100th birthday in June 2003. The Martin Beck Theater was renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theater.

Signature: Boldly signed and numbered from the edition of 275 in graphite pencil on the recto (front)

About Al Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld combined black and white linear drawing with portraiture to develop one of the most innovative and iconic visual languages. Known as one of the most influential caricaturists in history, Hirschfeld went on to capture countless celebrities and Broadway stars with little more than his expressive black lines. To be the subject of a Hirschfeld drawing endowed one with special distinction. Highly popular with readers of the New York Times, he continued to publish his cartoonish likenesses with them throughout a 75-year career. Millions of readers scoured his weekly drawings to find the word ''Nina,'' the name of his daughter, hidden within the lines of his caricatures. Next to his signature he would put the number of ''Ninas'' stashed in each particular drawing, creating a Sunday game for his admirers. Hirschfeld’s work has influenced countless artists, illustrators and cartoonists over the years and continues to do so today. —Submitted by Heritage Auctions

British, 1903-2003, St. Louis, MO, United States, based in New York, NY, United States