67
67
Andy Warhol
MERYL STREEP
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 735,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
67
Andy Warhol
MERYL STREEP
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 735,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Curated

|
New York

Andy Warhol
1928 - 1987
MERYL STREEP
acrylic, silverpaint and silkscreen ink on canvas, in 2 parts
Overall: 20 by 30 1/8 in. 50.8 by 76.5 cm.
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Executed in 1984, each work is stamped by the Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and numbered respectively P050.506 and P050.508 on the overlaps. Each work is stamped by the Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. on the reverse. 

Provenance

The Estate of Andy Warhol, New York
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York
Collection of Anthony d'Offay, London
Private Collection, Europe
Max Lang, New York 
Private Collection, Europe
Christie's, London, 14 October 2007, Lot 108
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

In the latter part of the 20th century, Andy Warhol solidified his place among the most important and influential portraitists in the history of art through his Pop portrayal of high society and the avant-garde, ultimately transforming the art of an age and cultivating a lasting legacy of celebrity.  Warhol’s portrait paintings represent the artist’s largest body of work and span the longest period of his prolific and productive career.  Fascinated by the countless people he encountered, Warhol ventured to immortalize everyone from presidents to industrialists, sports figures to fashion designers, movie stars to society ladies using his unmistakable silkscreened portraits as a time capsule.  The present diptych, Meryl Streep, is from a rare 1984 series of small format portraits with striking silver backgrounds featuring Hollywood A-listers including Clint Eastwood, Bill Murray and Diane Keaton.  Unlike earlier celebrity portraits produced by Warhol in his Silver Factory, there are only five existing portraits of the young Meryl Streep two of which are in The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.  In many ways, this double portrait is a celebration of Streep’s two main roles; as one of the most esteemed actresses of our time and as an advocate both on and off the silver screen.

Warhol’s early portraits of society’s leading ladies Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor have been described as modern-age Madonna’s radiating and celebrating the essence of feminine beauty.  Peter Brant said, “They are not photographs of public stars but… icons of our time.  They are, in essence, holy.” (Peter Brant in Exh. Cat., New York, C&M Arts, Women of Warhol, Marilyn, Liz & Jackie, 2000, p. 3).  Warhol’s earliest celebrity portraits from 1962 were based on publicity photographs that Warhol silkscreened using black ink on brightly colored or silver backgrounds as seen again in the present work from 1984. Warhol understood the influence that these celebrities had on American life and played into this universal obsession with appearance, glamour and fame; therefore drawing more inspiration from the pop culture around him than the art history he studied in school. In 1970, Warhol began to use photographs taken on his Polaroid Big Shot camera. During these photoshoots Warhol would direct his sitter through, at times, enough poses to fill five to ten rolls of film and then, together with the sitter, select a final image.  This photo would be cropped, sent to be enlarged and transferred onto acetate for Warhol to later silkscreen onto his hand painted canvases. As the first artist to frame portraits like a close-up studio still, Hollywood’s massive impact on Warhol is again apparent.  Streep’s day with Warhol is mysteriously and seductively captured by the artist’s ability to freeze a moment in time much like the magic of cinema. The surface of the present work is impeccable: a perfect marriage of the crisp registration one finds in the silkscreen with the metallic silver background pushing Streep’s portrait out of the pictorial space.

Meryl Streep is in more ways than one the matriarch of twenty-first century Hollywood known for her string of critically important lead roles throughout her decades-long acting career and for the voice she has given to so many.  Throughout her career, Meryl Streep has been recognized for her exceptional talent and has been nominated for more Golden Globes and Academy Awards than any other actor.  Beyond acting, Streep stands out for her unparalleled integrity as an outspoken activist. Streep’s sense of composure and comfort before Warhol’s camera has been immortalized and can be felt through her powerful gaze and subtle smile crisply silkscreened onto the canvas.  The careful cropping around Streep’s face makes it impossible to ignore her as a force to be reckoned with both while playing various characters on camera and while using her voice to stand up for what she believes in.  Warhol’s Meryl Streep is both a foreshadowing of the icon the actress would continue to evolve into and a nostalgic nod to Warhol’s own legacy during the Silver Factory days where he created masterpieces such as Silver Liz and Double Elvis. Meryl Streep is more than a heroine of the silver screen but a graceful embodiment of the power that comes with celebrity and fame, which so fascinated Andy Warhol.

Contemporary Curated

|
New York