1044

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

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Hong Kong

Andy Warhol
1928 - 1987
TEN ONE DOLLAR BILLS
ink stencil on paper, framed
86.4 by 62.2 cm; 34 by 24½ in. 
executed in 1962
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Provenance

Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York

This work is stamped by the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. and numbered A145.9511 on the reverse. 

Exhibited

New York, Gagosian Gallery, Andy Warhol Drawings and Related Works 1951-1986, February - March 2003, p. 111, illustrated in colour
Hong Kong, S|2, From Warhol, With Love, September 2012, cat. no. 36, p. 85, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

"I started [silkscreening] when I was printing money. I had to draw it, and it came out looking too much like a drawing, so I thought wouldn't it be a great idea to have it printed. Somebody said you could just put it on silkscreens.'' 
Andy Warhol 2 

A powerful declaration of the genesis of Warhol’s major contribution to art history, Ten One Dollar Bills (Lot 1044) is a classic example of Warhol's work made when the artist just started experimenting with the method of silkscreening. Warhol had already revolutionized American art by restoring representation and objective imagery to painting in the startling guise of common, everyday objects such as Campbell's Soup Cans, comics, magazine advertisements and newspaper headlines in late 1961 to early 1962. But the `Pop Art' revolution was not complete until Warhol discovered the artistic technique that would give him the freedom to exploit his new approach to subject matter. Warhol responded to the post-war world's media and consumerist saturation by seeking a form of art that was mechanical in the production process. This approach removed the hand of the artist, creating the same sense of distance and disconnect that was emerging in the world around him. The series of "Dollar Bill'' paintings were done in March-April 1962 and Warhol's first silkscreens were created from ink drawings he made on acetate, picturing the fronts and backs of one- and two-dollar bills.

The "Dollar Bill'' series consist of predominantly small paintings of single dollar bills (some shown front and back), with only 10 paintings of dollar bills done in serial or group formatsThroughout his oeuvre one of Warhol's ultimate goal was to create a repetitive multiplicity of one image within the same work. In this regard, the Dollar Bill paintings embody this theme in both subject and technique. They are the second earliest serial paintings, executed after the large stenciled soup cans. As the ultimate symbol of desire and attainment, status and worth, need and greed, the dollar bill is without peer in its internationalism and potent symbolism. Its primacy as international currency was in its ascendance and the post-war boom in America was a recognized phenomenon, as the dollar bill became a symbol of America in its essence just at the time Warhol captured it as art.

1 Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again), New York 1975, p. 92
2 Glenn O'Brien, "Interview with Andy Warhol," High Times, no. 24, August 1977, p. 34

Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

|
Hong Kong