223
223
Andy Warhol
THE SHADOW (FROM MYTHS)
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 1,330,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
223
Andy Warhol
THE SHADOW (FROM MYTHS)
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 1,330,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Andy Warhol
1928 - 1987
THE SHADOW (FROM MYTHS)
signed and dated 1981 on the overlap
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
60 by 60 in. 152.4 by 152.4 cm.
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Provenance

Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., New York
Heath Gallery, Atlanta
Gallery Takagi, Nagoya
Acquired by the present owner from the above in June 1987

Catalogue Note

In his Myths series from 1981, Andy Warhol tackles the question of who are the American myths of the twentieth century? Warhol sought to find images that captured and captivated us as did the gods and goddesses in ancient Greece and Rome. This is not an unfamiliar subject for Warhol, who spent most of his career trafficking in icons of the age. Since the beginning of his career, Warhol had a preternatural gift for transforming banal objects into motifs of an era – soup cans, dollar bills and coke bottles were just some of the many objects that Warhol sought to elevate into symbols of the modern world. In this series Warhol was more explicit in his intentions to find the gods of the modern American Olympus. In a world obsessed with pop culture, Warhol deems our gods to be Superman, Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, Uncle Sam, Howdy Dowdy, King Kong and Mammy.

Due to the prevalence of movies throughout the 20th Century it is no wonder that most of these characters are famous cinematic personalities. However, there is one subject of the Myths series that is not instantly recognizable, the present work.

In the present lot, entitled The Shadow, we see the profile of a Hitchcock-ian shadow as well as its creator, Warhol himself, looking out toward the viewer. With this self-portrait, Warhol neatly inserts himself into the pantheon of American icons. This is an act of extreme hubris, yet it is completely valid. By 1981 Warhol had become the epitome of fame that he was always fascinated by in his early years. He looks out quizzically, as if he is telling his audience “this is what you have created.” However, it is important to note that Warhol makes his shadow the focus of the work rather than his face. By making his shadow the main subject, Warhol demonstrates that he is ironically aware that people are obsessed with the idea of him rather than who he is as a person. The myth of Warhol is the brand that will long outlast the human being, and today we behold a painting whose commentary on American culture will last even longer.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York