Price realised: US$38,245,000
Andy Warhol Four Marilyns 1962 acrylic, silkscreen ink, pencil on linen 29 x 21 1/2 in. (73.7 x 54.6 cm.) Signed and titled “4 Marilyn’s Andy Warhol” on the reverse.
Provenance Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich Gian Enzo Sperone, Turin Galleria Galatea, Turin Peder Bonnier, New York and Anders Malmberg, Malmö Sotheby’s, London, Post War and Contemporary Art, December 3, 1992, lot 32 Ursula Ströher, Morges, Switzerland Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art Part I, November 17, 1998 Private Collection, New York Exhibited Turin, Galleria Galatea, Andy Warhol, November 20, 1972 - February 10, 1973 Boissano, SV, Centro International di Sperimentazioni Artitiche Marie-Louise Jeanneret, Astrattismo e Pop Art, 1983 Literature Turin, Galleria Galatea, Andy Warhol, 1972-1973, no. 5 (illustrated) R. Crone, Andy Warhol, New York: Praeger, 1976, no. 54 (illustrated) Centro International di Sperimentazioni Artitiche Marie-Louise Jeanneret, Astrattismo e Pop Art, Boissano, SV, 1983, no. 16 (illustrated) G. Frei and N. Prinze, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné of Painting and Sculpture 1961-1963, cat. no 271, 2004, p.240 and 247 (illustrated) Video ANDY WARHOL 'Four Marilyns', 1962 On 16 May 2013, Phillips will present Andy Warhol's masterpiece, Four Marilyns, 1962 in the Contemporary Art Evening auction. Zach Miner, Head of the Evening Sale, discusses this icon of Pop Art, which embodies the essense of Warhol's singular vision of beauty. Though Andy and Marilyn never met, he immortalized her with the creation of his most important portrait, an enduring icon where artist and muse are united as one: star, myth and legend. Catalogue Essay “The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.” ANDY WARHOL, 1979 The relationship between an artist and his muse has always been sacred. Tracing its roots to Greek mythology, the muse has been enshrined in Western culture as the most primal force of creation. Even the most secular of artists have given credence to the concept of the muse as a spirit of inspiration. Andy Warhol’s own muse, the singular force behind his next thirty years of artistic production, came in the form of a iconic movie star, a woman both beautiful and tragic—the two staples of Andy Warhol’s early work. Though he was nearly silent when it came to his reasons for artistic production, Warhol famously remarked that he need not comment upon his work, for on the surface of his work is where he resides. If we follow his wish, and endeavor to examine his oeuvre for clues as to his beliefs and aims as an artist, we can find no more definitive answer than Marilyn Monroe. Though Monroe and Warhol never exchanged a single word or glance, their relationship seems natural—fated, even. She embodied the purity of celebrity and beauty that Warhol so admired, and, though he never painted her until after her death, he came to be her most capable and skilled portraitist. Four Marilyns, 1962 is Warhol’s Marilyn masterpiece: exuberant, tragic, and uncompromisingly beautiful. Warhol’s prescience as an artist may appear to some as inherent genius, but it was rather his ability to be silently attuned to the changing ways of the world that brought forth his remarkable work. From his early days as a pioneer in graphic design to his first forays as a fine artist, he exhibited what can only be described as impatience for pretention. Breaking free from his life as a successful illustrator for ad men of the 1950s, Warhol strove to create work that piqued his interests yet matched his developing, distanced persona. He found a marriage between these two dissonant elements in his earliest stand-alone art work, namely the Campbell’s Soup Cans and cartoon paintings of the first year of the 1960s. The advertising paintings soon followed, and Warhol’s portrayal of Coca-Cola and other slogans of Americana brought him his initial burst of popularity. Considered some of the first major works of Pop Art, Warhol was simultaneously able to remove himself from his subjects yet expound upon their consumerist nature. But Warhol found it difficult to address the notion of his newfound celebrity, and, thus, he
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