Andy Warhol - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • "When you hurt another person, you never know how much it pains. Since I was shot, everything is such a dream to me. I don’t know what anything is about. Like, I don’t know whether I’m alive or whether I died. I wasn’t afraid before. And having been dead once, I shouldn’t feel fear. But I am afraid. I don’t understand why."
    —Andy Warhol
    Executed in 1981, Gun, is part of a series of works Andy Warhol created in the 1980s depicting firearms. Death and violence were recurring themes throughout the artist’s oeuvre, but the gun works belong to his more mature period, each representing both personal trauma and an underlying critique of the American culture. His preoccupation with the gun as an object is often attributed to having been shot in 1968 by the actress Valerie Solanas. The gun depicted here is similar to the .22 snub-nosed pistol that she used. At the same time, these works were also a reflection on the political and social environment of the moment, following events like John Lennon's assassination, and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. The present work is a prime example of the artist’s ability to isolate an object from its context and make it look attractive, rather than violent. This drawing is both aggressive and seductive, superficial and deep, ambiguities that are very Warholian.


    Andy Warhol, Untitled (Gun), from the Guns and Knives series, Polaroid, c. 1960-1980, Artwork: © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    • Provenance

      The Estate of Andy Warhol
      Fergus McCaffrey, St. Barthélemy
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007

    • Exhibited

      St. Barthélemy, (founded by Marc Jancou and Fergus McCaffrey), Andy Warhol: Drawings 1977–87, March 2007, no. 16, n.p. (illustrated)

    • Artist Biography

      Andy Warhol

      American • 1928 - 1987

      Andy Warhol was the leading exponent of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. 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, such as Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities, such as 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 also a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


      View More Works



stamped by the Estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York, initialed and numbered "VF 30.006" on the reverse
graphite on HMP paper
30 1/4 x 40 1/2 in. (76.8 x 102.9 cm)
Executed circa 1981–1982.

Full Cataloguing

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $126,000

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 19 May 2022