Estimate: US$40,000,000 - US$50,000,000
Price realised: US$63,362,500
Andy Warhol Men in Her Life Executed in October-November 1962 Silkscreen and pencil on primed canvas. 84 1/2 x 83 1/4 in. (214.6 x 211.5 cm).
Provenance Frederick W. Hughes, New York; Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich; Private Collection, Japan; Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich Exhibited Shinjuku, Tokyo, Isetan Museum of Art, Pop Muses. Images of Women by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, August 29 – September 24, 1991; traveled to Chiba, Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, October 2 – December 1, 1991; Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, December 14, 1991 – January 12, 1992; Umeda, Osaka, Daimaru Museum, February 5 – February 16, 1992; and Kyoto, Daimaru Museum, March 12 – March 17, 1992, no. 32 (illustrated) Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Warhol, October 12 – December 12, 1999; Kochi, The Museum of Art, Andy Warhol, February 6 – March 26, 2000; Tokyo, The Bunkamura Museum of Art, April 1 – May 21, 2000; Umeda, Osaka, Daimaru Museum, May 24 – June 11, 2000; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, June 17 – July 30, 2000; Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, August 5 – October 1, 2000; Nagoya City Art Museum, October 7 – December 17, 2000; and Niigata City Art Museum, January 4 – February 12, 2001. Las Vegas, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Andy Warhol Celebrities, February 7 – September 7, 2003 Literature G. Celant, Andy Warhol: A Factory, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 1998, no. 127 (illustrated); G. Frei and N. Printz, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. I, Paintings and Sculpture 1961 – 1963, New York 2002, no. 302, pp. 269 and 274 (illustrated); G. Celant, SuperWarhol, exhibition catalogue, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco 2003, p. 79, no. 48 (illustrated) Catalogue Essay Andy Warhol, Men in Her Life Men in Her Life is an outstandingly important work from one of the most significant and creative moments in Andy Warhol’s career. Made in the fall of 1962, arguably the artist’s breakthrough year, the picture is among his earliest silkscreen paintings, and it combines in one image many of the central themes of his oeuvre: celebrity, wealth, scandal, sex, death, Hollywood, icons of American life. The present painting, moreover, is one of only four works in the Men in Her Life series; it is one of only two of these works on a large-scale, multi-image format; and it is the largest of all the four pictures in the series. It is a work of great significance, fascination and beauty. The painting is based on a news photograph of Elizabeth Taylor walking with both her third husband Mike Todd, seen to the left, and her fourth husband Eddie Fisher, who is seen at the right with his then current wife Debbie Reynolds (fig 1). Warhol took the photograph from an April 13, 1962 issue of Life magazine, which featured an article on Taylor. Describing her as a “storybook princess,” the article presented pictures of her from throughout her life, but with special emphasis on her husbands and lovers —the “princes” in the fairy tale. Warhol used a total of three images from the article as the basis for different paintings; the other two photographs were pictures of her in National Velvet and in (and as) Cleopatra. The Men in Her Life pictures from 1962 were his first paintings of Taylor, one of his most iconic subjects, which he treated obsessively, for example in the Silver Liz series (fig 2). The photograph he used for Men in Her Life had been shot on June 5, 1957 at the English Derby at Epsom Downs in the United Kingdom. Taylor, Todd, Fisher and Reynolds were then best friends and at the height of international celebrity. Fisher had served as Todd’s best man at the wedding; Reynolds had served as Taylor’s matron of honor. At the time of the photograph, Taylor and Todd were on a trip to Europe, a combination honeymoon and publicity tour to promote the best-selling film he had produced, Around the World in Eighty Days. When the photograph was made, the two couples appeared to have every success: wealth, fame, privilege. Taylor was the highest paid actress in the world, and internationally famous for her stunning beauty (fig 3). Todd was in the course of making $29,000,000 in one year on
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