What Memes Owe to Art History
As a testament to the historical importance of this collection, we recently Andy Warhol's acetate of Conceptual Artist Joseph Kosuth (from this collection) -- to the artist Joseph Kosuth - himself. Acetates from this collection have sold for up to $20,000. This work is the only known acetate in the world of Stavros Niarchos. This is an original, unique black and white photographic negative acetate taken by Andy Warhol of famous multi-billionaire Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos. It was used as inspiration to create Warhol's series of silkscreens of Stavros Niarchos the only extant acetate in the world of Mr. Niarchos. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation donated its prestigious collection of Surrealist art to the Museum of Modern Art, which now has a Stavros Niarchos Foundation room. As Bob Colacello, former Editor in 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 and, most notably, the iconic Mick Jagger series based on the box of photographic acetates, both positives and negatives. The Lowell's allowed the printer to be named as Alexander Heinrici rather than Chromacomp, since Heinrici 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 incredibly rare and highly collectible one of STAVROS NIARCHOS 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. It measures approximately 15.5 inches by 12.5 inches. It is unevenly cut by Andy Warhol himself, exactly as he brought it to the Lowells. Buyer will receive a hand signed letter from the Lowell family representative confirming the work's authenticity and provenance. Many of the acetates from the Chromacomp collection have already been acquired by museums, galleries, dealers and collectors around the world, and most recently a selection of acetates was exhibited, alongside the silkscreens Warhol created from them, at a museum in Naples, Italy.
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This unique acetate print 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 provenance is superb. This piece comes with a hand signed letter of provenance.
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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