the complete portfolio of 10 colour screenprints on paper, accompanied by the original stamp-numbered box
each: 91.4 by 91.4cm.; 36 by 36in.
Executed in 1967, this work is number 136 from an edition of 250 plus 26 artist’s proofs.
Christie's, London, Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, 4 February 2004, Lot 5
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner
Fécamp, Palais Bénédictine, Andy Warhol: Pop' Star, 2000, n.p., illustrated in colour
Milan, Triennale di Milano, The Andy Warhol Show, 2004-05, pp. 88-89, no. 11, another example illustrated in colour
Naples, Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli, Andy Warhol, Vetrine, 2014, pp. 126-27, another example illustrated in colour
Germano Celant, Ed., Super Warhol, Milan 2003, pp. 266-67, no. 114, another example illustrated in colour
Freyda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann, Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1967, New York 2003, pp. 68-69, no. 11.22-31, another example illustrated in colour
In the late 1960s, Andy Warhol began publishing print portfolios with the art dealer David Whitney under the name Factory Additions. These works originated from some of his most famous subjects produced earlier in the decade such as Marilyn, Flowers and Campbell’s Soup. Warhol had begun experimenting with screeprinting in 1962, originally as a method for producing paintings from blown up photographs. Later he used silkscreens to create editioned prints, such as the Marilyn portfolio. From the 1960s onwards, prints became a hugely significant component of Warhol’s artistic output. These Marilyn prints were Warhol’s first technically complex prints, allowing the artist to achieve more than he had previously been able to with the medium. “Although the Marilyn paintings had been realised in an array of colours, these went further: a palette of fiery reds, hot and pale pink, and other saturated hues transforms [sic] Marilyn’s face into even more of a fiction than the carefully crafted publicity still from which it was originally derived” (Donna de Salvo, ‘God is in the details: The Prints of Andy Warhol’, in: Freyda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann, Eds., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1962-1967, New York 2003, p. 24).
In his depiction of Monroe, Warhol assumed the same cool and detached perspective with which he approached all of his subjects including consumer goods, celebrities, sex and disasters. However Marilyn Monroe was perhaps Warhol’s only subject that was able to fit into all of these categories; she was tragic, sexy and consumable all at the same time, making her the perfect embodiment of the artist’s ideals, and in fact, of the ideals of Pop art more generally.
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