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  • 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.)
     

  • Artist Biography

    Andy Warhol

    American • 1928 - 1987

    Known as the “King of Pop,” Andy Warhol was the leading face of the Pop Art movement in the United States in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects like Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity, and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

    Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    View More Works

8

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.

Estimate
£500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for £657,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

13 October 2010
London