Andy Warhol - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips
  • Published in 1972, Andy Warhol's Sunset series was commissioned by the architects Johnson & Burgee for their new Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis. This was just one of several projects between the firm's partner Philip Johnson and Warhol, Johnson being a long-term collector and friend of the artist. In contrast to the architecture's highly geometric and functional aesthetic, Warhol's colorful screenprints vibrantly decorated each guest room, with a vast 472 impressions installed for the opening. A massive undertaking, the total project encompassed 632 unique color impressions, with 160 pieces set aside and assembled into 40 portfolios of four. As such, this series is one of Warhol's most ambitious editions, encapsulating his experimental approach and mastery of color - no two pieces the same. This work is one of the 160 prints held aside for the unique portfolios. The 472 prints from the hotel are differentiated by the additional ink stamp on the reverse, "Hotel Marquette Prints”, designating their history in this cutting-edge 1970’s hotel. Less than a decade later in 1981, the hotel underwent a renovation and the Sunset prints were all removed from the rooms and returned to Warhol.


    Each print was comprised only three screens, bright shades of ink blending to form an ombre sky, and a colorful and harmonious oscillation surrounding the central sun. Employing color to transcend naturalistic representation, the vibrancy of the Sunset series reflects Warhol's mastery of color theory and his adept application of the screenprint medium, essential in creating such a sizeable, unique edition with only three layers of ink. The source for the series was not appropriated from popular culture, but reworked from an unfinished film started by Warhol five years prior. In his 1967 Sunset film, commissioned by the de Menil Family for the Rothko Chapel, Warhol captured sunsets across America, as a meditation on temporality and quotidian phenomena. Never satisfied by his sunset shots, Warhol left the project unfinished, instead translating the iconography into an edition that seeks to capture the unique illumination of each day's end. Such fixation on the ephemerality of sunsets is reminiscent on Claude Monet's Haystacks series of paintings, the French artist similarly repeating the same subject with the ambition of expressing the transcience of natural light. 


    Claude Monet, Haystack (Effect of Snow and Sun), 1891, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929, 29.100.109


    • Provenance

      Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Prints, November 18, 1989, lot 1327
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Literature

      see Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 85-88

    • 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


Sunset (see F. & S. 85-88)

Unique screenprint in colors, on smooth wove paper, the full sheet.
S. 34 x 34 in. (86.4 x 86.4 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered 217/470 in pencil on the reverse (from the total edition of 632 unique impressions), published by David Whitney, New York, with the 'Hotel Marquette Prints' inkstamp on the reverse, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $127,000

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023