Clean Slate is an exhibition of 36 works by young people aged 13 – 19 from across Avon and Somerset. The exhibition features the very best of the West’s young talent. Selected from five district exhibitions by a panel of judges, the artists are finalists in an art competition run by Avon and Somerset Police as part of their ongoing youth engagement work. Sculpture, painting, photography, graffiti and textiles are just some of the mediums represented in the show, and the finalists’ work is of an exceptionally high standard. The talent on show displays not only huge imagination but also highly skilled technical ability.

As well as the work of the Clean Slate finalists, a controversial piece thought to be by Andy Warhol will go on show as part of this celebration of young talent and potential. Purchased from a Las Vegas yard sale for just $5, the work is believed to be a portrait of 1950s singer Rudy Vallee, made when the young pop artist was bed-ridden with chorea at the age of 11. Already causing much controversy concerning its origins, the portrait raises questions about provenance, value, and authenticity – all important considerations when new works by famous artists come to light.

If it isn’t the earliest known work by Andy Warhol, what is it and who is it by? But if its owner is right, what are the implications for the contemporary art market? Does this 70-year-old piece of paper have what it takes to re-write the history books? View the work, join the debate, and decide for yourself.

Read more about the portrait alongside a detailed explanation of the work and a discussion around how art is authenticated - download our PDF handout.

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More resources:

The Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

The Warhol Museum

Art Collector Andy Fields

RWA President’s Blog

Bonhams, Valuations and Appraisals

3 - 29 July 2012

Admission prices