Cologne, Kunsthaus Lempertz, 10 November 2000, Lot 595
Acquired from the above by the present owner
The Toy Painting series has its origins in 1982 when the gallerist and long-time friend of Andy Warhol's, Bruno Bischofberger, asked him to create a small series of works for children, similar as he had done in 1982 when he requested a series of paintings depicting Mao. Warhol's response were the Toy Paintings; a series of acrylic and silkscreen ink canvases whose subject matter took inspiration from Warhol’s personal collection of childhood tin toys. First shown in the exhibition Paintings for Children at Bischofberger's Zurich gallery in 1983, the pieces were displayed against a wallpaper of silver fish swimming across a blue background designed by Warhol himself. Each canvas was hung at the eye-level of a three to five year old child causing adult viewers to crouch or squat to examine them. Bischofberger even charged an entrance fee to all those who attended the exhibition without being accompanied by a child under the age of six. As a gleeful saboteur of artistic dogma and etiquette, this was a decision that Warhol must have enjoyed – and indeed, in Moon Explorer perhaps the strongest feeling that abides is of an artist reveling in the freedom of youth.
Painted towards the end of the Warhol’s career, the commercial notion of the Toy Painting series is reminiscent to his celebrated Campbell Soup Cans, Brillo boxes and Coca-Cola bottles, which started the Pop Art movement. Similar to these works, Warhol only illustrated the packaging, rather than the actual toys. Here, the same simple visual language which established Warhol’s career as one of the most innovative artists of his generation still resonates. When asked about this new notion of Pop, Warhol remarked "once you 'got' Pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought pop, you could never see America the same way again. The mystery was gone, but the amazement was just starting” (Pat Hackett, Popism: the Warhol '60s, New York 1980, pp. 39-40).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale