Richard Pettibone - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, New Jersey
    Rago Arts and Auction Center, New York, Post-War and Contemporary Art, May 19, 2007, lot 502
    Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    As a trail blazer of appropriation, Richard Pettibone raised controversial issues surrounding ownership within artistic representation. Pettibone paved the way for artists of the 1980’s by blurring the lines between an original and a replicated image. Re-producing works by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, in a reduced scale, Pettibone infused his appropriations with a satirical edge. In response to the utilization of the term “appropriation artists” Pettibone explains, “You don’t often hear about Andy being called an appropriation artist, but he was. Someone asked me once about Andy doing an appropriation with the Last Supper paintings, and I remarked that Andy’s soup cans are an appropriation, he just wasn’t appropriating an old master, he was appropriating a commercial artist. I thought about these ideas when I chose artists to work on. In the end, I chose the artists that I was nuts about.” (Richard Pettibone, exh. cat., The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, 2005, p. 16).

    The present lot is a rare 1968 Richard Pettibone appropriation painting that re-presents Andy Warhol’s Saturday Disaster of 1964. Warhol’s provocative Disaster Series highlighted America’s, and in particular Warhol’s fascination with the powerful American media. Gleaned from newspaper stories, the horrifying images pulse with the dark undercurrent of tragic disaster. By reproducing classic works in reduced scale, Pettibone seems to prosper artistically while simultaneously embracing the critical nature of his work. Created just shortly after Warhol’s original Saturday Disaster, Pettibone’s miniature masterpiece incorporates repeated imagery and Warhol’s infamous “Hooker Green.” In his Disaster Series, Andy Warhol utilized cropping and repetition to create a more forceful impact, the crashes and explosions seem to occur visually again and again, as though part of a nightmare. Pettibone has taken this repeated expose to media content and compacted it into a miniature work of astounding impact and precise craft. Roberta Smith states that Richard Pettibone “has made art that he can call his own. Its emotional wisdom for the artistically inclined is bracingly clear: love art, love yourself, do what you have to do and what only you can do. Utter honesty is the only path to originality.” (R. Smith, “Imitations That Transcend Flattery,” The New York Times, July 15, 2005).


Andy Warhol Saturday Disaster 1964

acrylic, silkscreen on canvas, in artist's frame
8 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (21 x 28.6 cm.)
Signed, titled and dated "Andy Warhol Saturday Disaster 1964 R Pettibone 1968" along the stretcher bar.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $112,500

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 16 May 2014 11am