Lot 20
  • 20

Andy Warhol

Estimate
400,000 - 600,000 GBP
Sold
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Description

  • Andy Warhol
  • Jackie
  • acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
  • 51.8 by 40.8cm.; 20 1/8 by 16 1/8 in.
  • Executed in 1964.

Provenance

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (LC #31)

Carter Burden, New York

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (LC #31)

Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 1994 

Exhibited

Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, Andy Warhol: Paintings 1962-1975, 1975, n.p., no. 15-16, (text), exhibited as a diptych

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum; and Denver, Denver Art Museum, Andy Warhol: Portraits, 1976-77

Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Andy Warhol, 1978, p. 207, no. 63, (text), exhibited as Jackies Diptych with CR. no. 973

New York, Baghoomian Gallery, Andy Warhol. Genesis of an Installation, 1988, n.p., no. 33, installation view

Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Revolution: Art of the Sixties From Warhol to Beuys, 1995, p. 274, no. 158, illustrated in colour; and illustrated on the cover

Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; and Hamburg, Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Stiftung Froehlich: Sammlungsblöcke, 1996-97, p. 206, no. 291, illustrated in colour

London, Tate Gallery, on loan to the collection, 1998

Liverpool, Tate Gallery, Contemporary German and American Art from the Froehlich Collection, 1999

Karlsruhe, Museum für Neue Kunst im ZKM Karlsruhe, Eröffnung Museum für Neue Kunst, 1999-2000

London, Tate Modern, on loan to the collection, 2000-01

Karlsruhe, Museum für Neue Kunst im ZKM, on loan to the collection, 2002-03

London, Tate Modern, on loan to the collection, 2003-06

Literature

George Frei and Neil Printz, Eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and SculpturesVolume 2A, 1964-1969, New York 2004, p. 185, no. 1090, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

Capturing one of Andy Warhol’s most iconic muses in a moment of personal and national despair, Jackie (1964) poignantly depicts the newly-widowed First Lady in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The President’s funeral, which took place in Arlington two days after the gunfire, was the first national situation to be extensively covered by media. For four days, major U.S. TV networks went live with wall-to-wall coverage, suspending commercials, while news editors copiously documented the event, publishing reams of images in the national press. The events of November 1963 became the template for television coverage, and Jackie, the visual metaphor for the promise of the Kennedy administration, was chosen as the symbol of a mourning America. As outlined by Rainer Crone, her facial expressions were reproduced in the media “to such an extent that no better historical monument on the exhibitionism of American emotional value is conceivable” (Rainer Crone, Andy Warhol, New York 1970, p. 29).

Captivated by the tragic nature of Jackie Kennedy’s fame, between February and November 1964 Warhol realised 302 portraits of Jackie, reaffirming her status as a modern day icon. Advancing themes initiated in the preceding Death and Disaster series, in the Jackie portraits Warhol investigates the tensions between the contrasting inner feelings and outer appearance of all celebrities, bringing his artistic research to a whole new level. Recounting one of the most defining moments of recent American history, Warhol’s silkscreens of Jackie stand today as highly important historical documents, and have found their way into such prestigious public collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The source image for the canvas was one of eight photographs of the Presidential wife that Warhol selected from the flood of popular press, spanning from the arrival of the Kennedys in Dallas before the assassination to more sombre images from the funeral procession. In the present work, Jackie is immortalised with a blank expression of shock in extraordinarily solemn grief. Cropping the image close, Warhol draws attention to Jackie’s face, powerfully conveying the harrowing essence of this tragic event. Character and humanity lie in the imperfections of the painting, and the grainy quality of the picture gives texture and historical authenticity to the image. While the almost monochrome palette echoes the black and white images of tabloids and the visual language of the media, the flat blue of the background, the sacred colour of the Holy Virgin, contributes to present Jackie’s image as an icon of reverence and contemplation. Reminiscent of his Eastern Orthodox Catholic education, Warhol seems to create a secular version of a saint, a source of adoration for the masses.

Beyond the purely narrative nature of the image lies Warhol’s critique of the manipulative power and replicating effects of mass-media. Having used in the past photographs appropriated from the media as the basis for his portraits, Warhol used for the first time portraits culled from the newspapers in his Jackie series, subverting and imitating the emotional conditioning inherent to photo-journalism. Accepting photography “as the driving force in modern life – a tool of both the factual recording of reality and the romantic projection of magic and make-believe”, Jackie summates Warhol's aptitude to seize the most potent images of his time and deliver the perfect twentieth-century history painting (Tony Shafrazi, Ed., Andy Warhol Portraits, London and New York 2007, p. 16).

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