What Memes Owe to Art History
Published by: Galerie Lavignes-Bastille, Paris
This oversized vintage Warhol exhibition poster was published on the occasion of the exhibition "Andy Warhol: 10 Statues of Liberty" at Galerie Lavignes-Bastille, Paris, 8 April - 30 May, 1986. The print was published in an edition of fewer than 500, and is considered especially collectible as it was a lifetime edition for an exhibition that Warhol attended. It was printed in 1986, the year before Warhol died. Warhol's renditions of the Statue of Liberty have been the inspiration in both subject matter and style of many subsequent generations of Pop artists, including Peter Max's ubiquitous Statues of Liberty. Warhol reprised his successful 1960s series based on Lady Liberty, with 10 of the large-scaled Camouflage Statue of Liberty paintings based on a close-up enlargement of the figure’s head. These later Liberty works commemorated the 100th anniversary of the gift of the statue from France to America, according to Warhol biographer Victor Bockris. Warhol traveled to Paris in March that same year for the debut of this body of work at Galerie Lavignes-Bastille. The show was initially an uncharacteristic and inexplicable failure. “It was a great show,” recalled the dealer Patrice Landau, “but we didn’t sell a single painting. Here it was a total flop.” One of the camouflaged works shown in Paris later sold at Sotheby’s New York in May 2008 for $5,193,000, and one of Warhol's original Liberty works from the 1960s was offered at Christie's in 2012 for tens of millions of dollars.
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Signature: Unsigned, with Andy Warhol copyright symbol
Publisher: Galerie Lavignes-Bastille, Paris
Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.
American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
What Memes Owe to Art History
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