Estimate: £500,000 - £700,000
ca. US$792,933 - US$1,110,106
Price realised: £657,250
Andy Warhol The Scream (After Edvard Munch 1984 Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas. 132 × 96.5 cm (52 × 38 in). Signed and dated ‘Andy Warhol 84', with the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board Stamp and numbered ‘A120.0610' on the overlap.
Provenance Acquired directly from the artist; Private Collection, New York Catalogue Essay “Andy Warhol, the most important chronicler of the second half of thetwentieth century, symbolizes in his work all the seeds of alienation that appeared in that century of fragmentation. The bright flash of beauty as a tragic moment; the recognition of a reality that can be abstracted to particular, virtual reality – these were experiences that Warhol also shared, as an artist who more than anyone before him took the idea of the work and the work itself and plunged them into confusingly circling reality, because he saw his own time in the images of reproduced objectivity. In his works the explicit communicates with the implicit, even if the artist himself was only dealing with the visible and referred his viewers to others for individuality. Warhol transposed the ritual of the painting process into his own time and doubtless the history of the term as well. He did not give up the ritual, but turned the process into the ritual: his pictorial world, derived from other media, itself becomes the medium.” (Heiner Bastian, ‘Rituals of Unfulfillable Individuality – The Whereabouts of Emotions’, in H. Bastien, ed., Warhol, Tate Publishing, London, 2001, p. 36) The art of appropriation was central to Andy Warhol’s work throughout his prolific career. As with all things ‘Warholian’, the idea of appropriation comes with its twists and turns. In the 1970s, Warhol first created silkscreens of the Mona Lisa and in the mid-1980s went on to adopt The Last Supper, both works becoming emblems of Warhol’s reflection on art history. Just as he had turned Marilyn Monroe Jackie Kennedy and Liz Taylor into products of the Warhol factory, so he took the stars of the art world and made them into his own creations. By reinterpreting The Scream by Edvard Munch Warhol underlined the iconic status of the work and showed how it can also be a mass-produced consumer product. As such, Munch’s image becomes part of the Warholian machine. Munch experimented with various versions of The Scream in paints and prints when he first created a lithograph of the work in 1895. Similarly, Warhol produced several different versions of The Scream, with only five works on canvas. With its ghostly presence and minimal colour, the present lot is almost sterile in appearance. The feelings of alienation and inner turmoil in Munch’s original work are juxtaposed against Warhol’s factory aesthetic. As if all colour had been stripped from the painting, Warhol manages to exude the initial message of the painting: “I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.” (Edvard Munch from his diary, in I. Muller-Westermann, Munch by Himself, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, n.p.) Read More Artist Bio Andy Warhol American • 1928 - 1987 A seminal figure in the Pop Art movement of the early 1960s, Andy Warhol's paintings and screenprints are iconic beyond the scope of Art History, having become universal signifiers of an age. An early career in commercial illustration led to Warhol's appropriation of imagery from American popular culture and insistent concern with the superficial wonder of permanent commodification that yielded a synthesis of word and image, of art and the everyday. Warhol's obsession with creating slick, seemingly mass-produced artworks led him towards the commercial technique of screenprinting, which allowed him to produce large editions of his painted subjects. The clean, mechanical surface and perfect registration of the screenprinting process afforded Warhol a revolutionary absence of authorship that was crucial to the Pop Art manifesto. View More Works
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