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  • Warhol made black Pop. Rid of feeling, full of the machine. Warhol’s black was different from the cavernous blacks of Caravaggio; it was commercial, it was flat and easily reproducible. Warhol’s black and white images have proved to be just as impactful and memorable as ones featuring his vivid color palette. Warhol’s Shoes (lots 45, 46) and Marilyn series feature the artist’s use of black through photographic overlay, creating bold, lustful prints that dazzle.   

    "Beauties in photographs are different from beauties in person. It must be hard to be a model, because you’d want to be like the photograph of you, and you can't ever look that way – and so you start to copy the photograph." —Andy Warhol

    For Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe was the perfect interplay of personal tragedy and beauty. The world was captivated by the actress; newspapers provided access to her life through a steady stream of front-page articles and black and white photos. Shortly after her death in August of 1962, Warhol cropped a publicity still of the actress, blowing her image up and using it to create his silkscreens. With Marilyn’s image everywhere, her tragically short life was encapsulated by the likeness Warhol burned into his screens.
     

    Publicity still of Marilyn Monroe for the film Niagara (1953), showing crop marks made by Andy Warhol; Warhol’s source image for all the Marilyn portraits.
    Publicity still of Marilyn Monroe for the film Niagara (1953), showing crop marks made by Andy Warhol; Warhol’s source image for all the Marilyn portraits.

    Warhol had been screenprinting onto paper as early as 1962, but it wasn't until he established Factory Additions in 1967, that he systematized the process. A full printmaking operation, Factory Additions published Marilyn’s image in two hundred and fifty folios, each containing ten differently colored Marilyn screenprints on paper. Marilyn’s color combinations were selected by Warhol’s friend David Whitney, pending Warhol's approval.


    Marilyn printed in shades of grey and black, depicts the actress tantalizingly close, yet she is distant. There is a subtlety to Marilyn’s grey coloration, she presents more mysterious than her brightly colored counterparts. Her eyes, heavy with Warhol’s application of screened eyeshadow, gaze out from beneath. She is covered in inked make-up, her hair perfectly placed. “Even beauties can be unattractive,” said Warhol “If you catch a beauty in the wrong light at the right time, forget it. I believe in low lights and trick mirrors.”
     

    Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday to John F Kennedy in 1962, Photograph: Snap/Rex/ Shutterstock
    Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday to John F Kennedy in 1962, Photograph: Snap/Rex/ Shutterstock

     

    • Provenance

      Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
      Leon Kraushar Family
      By descent to present owner

    • Literature

      Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 24

    • 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.

       

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44

Marilyn

1967
Screenprint in colors, on wove paper, the full sheet.
S. 36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm)
Signed with initials and dated in pencil and stamp-numbered 12/250 on the reverse (there were also 26 artist's proofs lettered A-Z), published by Factory Additions, New York, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $315,000

Contact Specialist

[email protected]

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 21 - 22 October 2020