Can Anything Be Performance Art?
Property of an Important European Collector
From the Catalogue:
Andy Warhol’s instantly recognisable face—depicted in his own works or in photographs by others—is one that is undoubtedly a ubiquitous part of Contemporary artistic discourse. Turning to his self-portraits, the works allow us momentary proximity into the mystery behind the artist himself.
The present lot, the 1967 Self-Portrait, is an early iteration of the artist’s self-portraits, and is from the artist’s second ever series of self-pictures. Warhol’s first commissioned self-portrait was in 1963, and to this mode he returned roughly every five years throughout his artistic career. His first self-portraits were deeply influenced by celebrity portraiture, and thus the earliest of these were silkscreens that heavily resembled rehearsed glamour-shots painted in a variety of colours. These works appeared alongside Warhol’s dazzling, newfound celebrity status, and often showed the young artist imitating his glamorous subjects both in posture and gesture.
From the mid-1960s onwards, and in part due to his various encounters with actors and models, filmmaking became engrained in Warhol’s mode of production, and his works became much more nuanced and restrained. It was also likely that this extended time with filmstrips propelled the artist to turn to a more introspective, small scale, focusing on single images rather than multiple silkscreens. Using the aesthetics of a filmstrip, Warhol’s works from the mid-1960s onwards were much more candid, and experimented with monochromes, most prominently in violets and cadmium reds. Self-Portrait was executed at this moment of change, showing us an unadulterated, genuine shot of the artist in a brilliant, striking red.
While much of his works can be explained by his interest in celebrity and consumerist culture, Warhol’s self-portraits are much more difficult to grasp. Though they present an intimate glimpse into the artist’s persona, they are deliberately self-effacing and vague. Self-Portrait offers us Warhol’s slightly concealed boyish face, as if he is deliberately shying away from the camera. This image itself is perhaps one of the rarest of the artist—in stark contrast to the aloof, self-assured Warhol that is most commonly depicted, Self-Portrait captures an introverted and innocent version of the artist, the red cadmium an apt metaphor for perfect youth.
—Courtesy of Phillips
Signature: signed and dated 'Andy Warhol 1967' on the overlap; further stamped with The Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board Inc., and numbered A109.025 on the overlap
New York, Jason McCoy Gallery, Andy Warhol: Self-Portraits, 30 January- 1 March 1990, n.p., no. 3 (illustrated)
New York, Van de Weghe Fine Art, Andy Warhol: Self Portraits 1963-1986, 20 April - 27 May 2005
G. Frei and N. Prinze, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné of Painting and Sculpture 1964-1969, New York, vol. 2B, 2004, cat. no 1960, pp. 305, 312 (illustrated)
Andy Warhol: Self Portrait 1963 - 1986, exh. cat., New York, 2005, pp. 50 - 51 (illustrated on the inside cover)
Mr. Ross Friedmann, Miami
Galerie 1900-2000, Paris
Hilman Holland Gallery, Atlanta
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York
Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London
Phillips, New York, 16 May 2013, lot 12
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
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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