Andy Warhol - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips
  • “For Warhol, the art of deception, the fun of fooling people, mystifying, hiding, lying—camouflaging, if you will—was a compulsion, a strategy, and a camp.”
    —Bob Colacello 1
    Moving beyond depictions of iconic figures, Warhol’s final print portfolio contrasts the individuality of his typical portraiture with the uniformity of camouflage. Designed to blend in with an environment and strongly associated with the armed forces, camouflage’s paradox of being a pattern of disguise yet identifiable by the masses may have appealed to Warhol’s sensibilities towards brands and logos. Universally recognizable, the pattern bears further connotations of masculinity, landscape, and nationality, themes of which Warhol addressed throughout his prolific career in printmaking.


    The Camouflage portfolio, printed in fluorescent hues, boldly sabotages the traditional purpose of camouflage, eschewing the typical muted tones of green, brown, and gray. In this subversion of camouflage’s typical purpose, the pattern is transformed into something ironically conspicuous, obliterating its function. The Day-Glo fluorescence additionally renders the works difficult to reproduce accurately, undermining the inherent replicative essence of a print. Here, Warhol transforms our understanding of what a print can be: in his hands, it became unique, even unreproducible.

    “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, there I am.”
    —Andy Warhol

    Published posthumously, Camouflage further serves as a convenient metaphor for the enigma that was Andy Warhol. Plagued with severe acne and early baldness, Warhol chose to wear makeup and custom-made wigs. He feigned ignorance regarding art history, which he had formally studied since age eleven, and he would lie about where he was from: depending on the journalist who asked him, it was Philadelphia, Cleveland, or Newport, Rhode Island, when really - it was Pittsburgh. Camouflage can thus be viewed as an external projection of his internal insecurities, his very last print portfolio being perhaps one of his most personal.


    Continuing Warhol’s legacy and building upon the history of artists designing and modernizing military camouflage garments, fashion designer Stephen Sprouse was permitted to use a print from Warhol’s Camouflage portfolio in his Fall 1987 and Spring 1988 collections of menswear and womenswear, adorning the articles of clothing with Warhol’s vibrant pattern. The collection would be worn prominently by Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, one of Warhol’s longstanding muses, who would also use an adapted Camouflage print in the UK album art for her 1987 single “In Love with Love.”



    1 Gagosian, Andy Warhol: Camouflage, 1998, p. 8

    • Literature

      Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 406-413

    • 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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Property from a Distinguished Private Collection


Camouflage (F. & S. 406-413)

The complete set of eight screenprints in colors, on Lenox Museum Board, the full sheets.
all S. 38 x 38 in. (96.5 x 96.5 cm)
All signed by Fredrick W. Hughes (Executor of the Estate of Andy Warhol), titled, annotated 'REG. ED.' and numbered 60/80 in pencil on the stamped Certificates of Authenticity on the reverse, published by Andy Warhol, New York (with his copyright inkstamps on the reverse), all framed.

Full Cataloguing

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $254,000

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023