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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    The Collection of Frederick W. Hughes
    Private Collection, Rome

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Even when the subject is different, people always paint the same painting… the more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel.” ANDY WARHOL

    This late work from Andy Warhol depicts one of his late flower paintings in a two-toned canvas. Simplistic in its approach, it is both a symbol of life as well as a memento for its transience. Turning to flower inspiration throughout his career, Warhol’s floral imagery can be traced back to the 1960s. His most memorable floral show was in Leo Catelli’s prestigious gallery in 1964 where the focus were the flower paintings made from appropriations of a photograph of flowers by Patricia Caufeld for Modern Photographers magazine, a show that marked his ascension into the art world. The immediate success of this show that quickly sold out reflects the attractive motif that stands beautiful at the peak of its existence but is a constant reminder of what will eventually wither and die.

    Warhol’s Untitled (Flower for Tacoma Dome) from 1982, became another popular flower which was made into a painting by a commission proposal for the City of Tacoma’s dome, a convention center in Tacoma, Washington. This work also had a decorative allure that reflected Warhol’s experience in graphic design, as did all of his flower paintings, but carried behind it a lurking reminder of death.

    The present lot captivates Warhol’s obsession with repetition and the pop aesthetic that he came to symbolize. His flowers functioned as a metaphor for vanitas and a memento mori representing the brevity of life. As with the other images, they held the iconographic consistency that would be an obsession for one of the masters of 20th century art and whose icons would influence contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince.

  • 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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22

Flower

1985
synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas
51 x 40.8 cm. (20 1/8 x 16 1/8 in.)
Signed and dated 'Andy Warhol 85' on the overlap. Stamped by the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. and numbered 'A103.009' on the overlap.

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £194,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 16 October 2013