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  • Provenance

    The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria; Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Museum, Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei, 11 December 2015 – 11 September 2016

  • Literature

    Nicholas Chambers, Michael Frahm and Tony Godfrey, eds., Warhol in China, Germany, 2014, pp. 72-73, 299 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I went to China…and I went to see the Great Wall. You know, you read about it for years. And actually it was really great. It was really really really great.” Andy Warhol

    October 27, 1982: Flying from New York on PAN AM, which at the time was the gold standard of international service, Andy Warhol, along with photographer Christopher Makos, Andy’s business manager Fred Hughes, and Fred’s friend Natasha Grenfell arrived in Hong Kong. Thanks to an invitation extended by young businessman Alfred Siu, who had commissioned portraits of Prince Charles and Princess Diana from Warhol for the nightclub he was opening, the small entourage was surprised with a VIP trip to the Chinese capital for a few days. Beijing, to Warhol, was like a burst of visual images of graphics. Seeing Chinese characters on his plane, passing signs on the way from the airport, the foreign cars, the different smells, Warhol was acutely aware of what was different or strange about the place. To anyone travelling into China from the West, it must have been a sensory overload, and a stark contrast especially for Warhol. So much so, perhaps, that the artist would attempt to apprise his new experiences by drawing comparisons to more familiar ones.

    “It’s like walking up to the Empire State Building.”

    Climbing up one of the greatest world heritage sites, Warhol likened the Great Wall to a landmark more firmly rooted in his domestic experiences, namely the Empire State Building, highlighting Warhol’s relatable position as that of a curious tourist. In these instances, we are offered an unobstructed view of Warhol beyond and behind the artist.
    Snapping away at will while roaming the Great Wall and the Ming tombs, like all tourists do, a Chinon camera in hand, a slight wrinkle in his forehead, focused eyes underneath his rounded spectacles, Warhol not only continued his ongoing obsession with looking but also paradoxically became the object viewed. Each photograph presents a record of what Warhol was looking at, but also sometimes of people looking back at him. His fascination with repetition and patterning comes through, yet his instinctive eye for relaying the everyday detail remains– the endless cobbled grounds, the abstract shapes of Chinese calligraphy, men and women, young, old, all in their Mao suits, curl after curl of coiled incense, this was to Warhol, this was China, new and hitherto unexplored.

  • 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.

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1

The Great Wall of China

1982
Blindstamp credit in the margin. Initialled ‘T.J.H.’ by Timothy J. Hunt of the Andy Warhol Foundation in pencil, estate copyright credit reproduction limitation and date stamps on the verso.
Gelatin silver print
Image: 20.3 x 25.4 cm. (7 7/8 x 10 in.)
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed in ink by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Estimate
HK$80,000 - 120,000 
€9,800-14,700
$10,300-15,400

Sold for HK$93,750

Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Sale
+852 2318 2026

General Enquiries
+852 2318 2000

Warhol in China

Hong Kong Auction 28 May