A Brief History of Flowers in Western Art
This is an original, extremely rare unique black and white photographic positive acetate by Andy Warhol with hand coloring by Warhol. It was used as inspiration to create Warhol's famous color silkscreen of Marcia Weisman, the sister of Norton Simon, and one of the major contributors to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA) in the 1970s and 1980s. Ms. Weisman, who died in 1991, along with her former ex-husband Frederick Weisman, amassed one of the most important modern and pop collections of the era, including works by Warhol, Ruscha, de Kooning, Hofmann, etc. - much of which was donated to LACMA. This acetate came from Andy Warhol's studio "The Factory" in the mid Seventies. We acquired this directly from the owners of Chromacomp, Inc. Warhol's silkscreen printer, who received it directly from Warhol, so our provenance is superb and documented. (As a testament to the value of this collection, we recently sold the acetate of conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth -- to Mr. Kosuth himself! ) Other works from this collection -- originally purchased from us - have sold at auction and privately for $20,000. Others acetates, originally purchased from our gallery were included in a museum exhibition in Italy - curated by Warhol scholar Benito Oliva. A catalogue was produced to accompany that exhibition. We are able to offer this acetate at a reasonable price, since we are the original buyers of the collection from Chromacomp. We have sold out most of the collection to other dealers and galleries and private collections around the world - so take advantage of one of the very last few that remain. As Bob Colacello, former Editor im Chief of Interview Magazine (and right hand man to Andy Warhol) explained, "Many hands were involved in the rather mechanical silkscreening process....but only Andy in all the years I knew him, worked on the acetates." An acetate is a photographic negative transferred to a transparency, allowing an image to be magnified and projected onto a screen. As only Andy worked on the acetates, it was the last original step prior to the silkscreening of an image, and the most important element in Warhol's creative process for silkscreening.
This acetate was brought by Warhol to Eunice and Jackson Lowell, owners of Chromacomp, a fine art printing studio in New York City, and was acquired directly from the Lowell's private collection. During the 1970s and 1980s, Chromacomp was the premier atelier for fine art limited edition silkscreen prints; indeed, Chromacomp was the largest studio producing fine art prints in the world for artists such as Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Erte, Robert Natkin, Larry Zox and many more. All of the plates were done by hand and in some cases photographically. Famed printer Alexander Heinrici worked for Eunice & Jackson Lowell at Chromacomp and brought Andy Warhol in as an account. Shortly after, Warhol or his workers brought in several boxes of photographs, paper and acetates and asked Jackson Lowell to use his equipment to enlarge certain images or portions of images. Warhol made comments and or changes and asked the Lowells to print some editions; others were printed elsewhere. Chromacomp ended up printing a number of Warhol silkscreens including, for example, the iconic Mick Jagger series based on the box of photographic acetates, both positives and negatives, like this one incredible acetate positive that Warhol brought to them. The Lowell's allowed the printer to be named as Alexander Heinrici rather than Chromacomp, since Heirici was the one who brought the account in. Other images were never printed by Chromacomp - they were simply being considered by Warhol. After working with Chromacomp, Warhol left the remaining acetates, including this one, with Eunice and Jackson Lowell. After the Lowells closed the shop, the photographs were packed away where they remained for more than a quarter of a century. Even in his lifetime, it is well documented that Warhol recognized the unique value of the acetates, as he would often exchange them for services with silkscreen shops, enabling them to make additional prints of his unique images. This piece comes with a hand signed letter of provenance.
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Signature: unsigned. Warhol did not sign his acetates as they were considered part of his creative process.
The Factory (Andy Warhol's Studio) via Chromacomp, Inc. (Warhol's printer, owned by Eunice & Jack Lowell) Accompanied by a Letter of Provenance from the representative of the Lowell family.
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
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