Andy Warhol - Evening & Day Editions London Thursday, June 6, 2024 | Phillips
  • “ lady friend of mine asked me the right question: “Well, what do you love most?” That’s how I started painting money.”
    —Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol held a deeply-rooted fascination with the intricate interplay of wealth and power. He was born in 1928 in the industrial hub of Pittsburgh to Austro-Hungarian immigrant parents, just one year before the Wall Street Crash plunged America into the Great Depression. However, by the time Warhol made his way to New York City in 1949, the American landscape was changing rapidly as the end of World War II ushered in an era of unparalleled economic expansion. Whilst manufacturing rocketed and consumer capitalism reached new highs, advertisements saturated with poodle-skirts, white picket fences and credit cards were broadcasted across newly-colourised T.V. screens. Fashion, music and film entered a new golden age with later-to-become Warholian icons such as Liza Minelli proclaiming “Money makes the world go around”, and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley becoming the faces of the prevailing American mantra: buy, buy, buy.


    Promotional image of Marilyn Monroe for How to Marry a Millionaire. Image: Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

    Money motifs appeared in Warhol’s practise as early as the 1950s, but the inspiration to adopt the dollar sign symbol followed a conversation with designer and gallerist Murial Latow in 1962. Following Warhol asking her for more “fabulous ideas,” Latow playfully charged the artist fifty dollars. Playing along, Warhol wrote the check, leading the designer to muse: “Money. The thing that means more to you than anything else in the world is money. You should paint pictures of money.” Returning to the motif as a mature artist, the present print was executed in the same year as his Dollar Signs exhibition with legendary New York gallerist Leo Castelli. A month later, Artforum featured Warhol in a feature piece on breakthrough artists; occupying the coveted centrefold position, Warhol chose a fold-out triptych of his dollar sign works to represent himself and his artistic practice.


    Demonstrating Warhol’s keen graphic sensibility, the dollar sign prints are animated by the complex interaction of their layers and multiple overlaid impressions, which are deliberately misaligned. Mimicking billboards, the saturated colours articulate Warhol’s continued fascination with commodity culture. Whilst his interpretations of products like Campbell’s soup cans or Brillo boxes refer to consumer capitalism by invoking the objects we fetishize, it is the dollar symbol that clarifies the artist’s focus on what drives consumption: money. Stating this so directly, Warhol challenged traditional notions of artistic elitism and defied the norms of high culture that sought to separate fine art from commercialism.


    Liza Minneli and Joel Grey performing “Money, Money (Makes The World Go Around)”, Cabaret, 1972

    • Provenance

      Phillips, New York, Evening & Day Editions, 31 October 2012, lot 49
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      see Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 283

    • 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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$ (Quadrant) (see F. & S. 283)

Unique screenprint in colours, on Lenox Museum Board, the full sheet.
S. 101.9 x 81.5 cm (40 1/8 x 32 1/8 in.)
Signed and numbered 21/60 in pencil (from the edition of unique variants, there were also 10 artist’s proofs), published by the artist (with his copyright inkstamp on the reverse), framed.

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £82,550

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 6 - 7 June 2024