NEW YORK - Andy Warhol’s print portfolios of the 1980’s drew upon his previous portrayals of celebrity while introducing a sort of frivolity that is associated with our memories of America in that era. The Myths series from 1981 includes images of beloved characters that were whimsical and widely known yet imaginary.
Perhaps the most famous of these, and what is now the most valuable, is Superman (estimate $120,000–180,000), shown in his signature flying-pose, bursting off the sheet toward the viewer. As with the other prints in this portfolio, Warhol added diamond dust to the subjects, furthering the fanciful nature of the work.
Andy Warhol’s Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan). Screenprint in colors, 1985, a unique color trial proof, from Ads. $25,000-35,000.
The decade is often recalled for its commerciality and excess. In keeping with these notions was Warhol’s Ads portfolio, from 1985, which depicts famous advertisements for companies selling, for example, gas, computers, perfume and cars. In one of the prints Ronald Reagan is shown, in his career as an actor rather than a politician, promoting shirts by the Van Heusen company. The sale includes a color trial proof of that work (estimate: $25,000-35,000). Warhol prints from the 80’s exemplify the artist’s fascination with popular culture and use of recognizable images while illustrating personalities that existed only in our minds or in the pages of a magazine.