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Lot 114: ANDY WARHOL Liz.
15 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Offset color lithograph on paper mounted on card stock, 1964. 558x558 mm; 22x22 inches, full margins. Edition of approximately 300. Signed and dated in ball-point pen and black ink, lower right. Printed by Total Color, New York. Published by Leo Castelli Gallery, New York. A superb impression of this early print with vibrant colors.
Warhol's (1928-1987) first exhibition was held in 1952 at the Hugo Gallery, New York. His drawings during the 1950s remained true to his original illustrative style; they are at once somewhat naive and edgy, as well as decorative and ephemeral (see lots 112 and 113). By the early 1960s, he had begun his exploration into Pop Art. Warhol painted his first Pop paintings in 1961, and by the mid-1960s had attained celebrity status with works such as the Campbell's Soup Can and Marilyn Monroe series. The portrayal of Marilyn as a product of mass culture, produced for the public as a consumer item, was so radical at the time that it skyrocketed him to fame.
In 1966, Warhol announced his "retirement" from painting, having achieved substantial recognition already as both a painter and filmmaker. While committing more time to filmmaking, Warhol also established his own printmaking company, Factory Additions, in New York. Among the company's first printing projects was the Cow series, 1966, a color screenprinted wallpaper that he initially used to decorate, from floor to ceiling, the entire Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. One year later, in yet another affront to the art world, he pursued his interest in serialization by publishing portfolios which recycled images from his most popular paintings. These print series include the iconic Campbell's Soup I and II (see lot 115), Flowers, Electric Chair and Marilyn Monroe.
The actress Elizabeth Taylor, then at the height of her career, was one of Warhol's most cherished icons and subjects, and he created over a dozen paintings of her. This particular image was sourced from a publicity photograph from 1960 that he reproduced in a number of works. Ms. Taylor, like Marilyn, fascinated and consumed Warhol, as they both epitomized his obsession with female celebrity. Feldman 7.