Andy Warhol - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York; Martin Lawrence Gallery, New York; Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills; Blains Fine Art, London

  • Exhibited

    New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Andy Warhol: Dollar Signs, 9 - 30 January, 1982; Beverly Hills, Gagosian Gallery, Andy Warhol: $, 1 November - 21 November 1997; Auckland, New Zealand, Gow Langsford Gallery, Damien Hirst // Andy Warhol, 5 - 15 February 2008;

  • Catalogue Essay

    Warhol commented, “I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then, when someone visited you, the first thing they would see is the money on the wall.” (Quote from David Bourden, Warhol, New York, 1989, p.384) "The Dollar Signs are among Warhol's most powerful and essential images, perhaps equal to the historic Campbell's Soup Cans of 1962, in their brash reinvention of what is allowed in a work of art. Warhol had a fascination with accumulating wealth and money, and was continuously exploring themes of money in his artistic practice. In the Dollar Signs, Warhol unabashedly said that "big-time art is big-time money" and, with his brutal truthfulness, bluntly printed the sign for money as the sign for art. Warhol began to paint images of dollar bills in the early 1960s, producing canvases arrayed with endless grids of bank notes. Returning to the subject in the 1980s, he isolated the dollar sign and replicated that symbol in paintings and prints interpreted in a sketchy, improvisational style." (
    The Dollar Signs are signature works in the extreme – the signature for cash, for art, and for Warhol, himself. Warhol turned the totemic, isolated ‘$’, a symbol of the American Dream and international denominator of wealth into a twin icon of consumerism and materialism such as the Coca Cola and Campbell’s soup. Without any specific denomination or numbers, the Dollar Sign takes on a more generalized iconic status, yet becoming a distinct feature in the Pop pantheon of Warhol’s oeuvre.

  • 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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Dollar Sign

Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas.
51.2 x 40.5 cm. (20 1/8 x 16 in).
With the Estate of Andy Warhol stamp and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts stamp on the overlap.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm