NEW 006

049
Andy WARHOL,1928 - 1987

Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (F. & S. II.31)

1967

screenprint

S. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

ED.250

signed, dated and stamp numbered on the verso

framed

ESTIMATE :
$200,000 - $333,300
CONDITION

Very good condition.
Signed and dated on the lower left of the verso, stamp numbered on the lower right of the verso.
Although it is in very good condition, there is a small area along the edge where the surface has a handling mark.
There is some faint ink peeling in the upper right and left margins.
There are also some stain-like marks on the lower right and lower left sides.
There is a fine pencil mark in the top left corner of the image.

DESCRIPTION

Publisher: Factory Additions, New York

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was arguably the most influential American artist of the 20th century, transforming the way in which artists created works, used media, and cultivated celebrity. Warhol had worked successfully as a commercial illustrator and until the early 1960s produced artworks in a more abstract expressionist style. It was in 1962 that Warhol began to employ the signature post-modern graphic and detached style that became his signature. Commenting on the culture of mass consumption and the façade of fame, Warhol’s screenprints became an immediate hit.

Amongst Warhol’s most celebrated works is the Marilyn Monroe series. The work manipulates a publicity photograph of Monroe that had been used to promote the 1953 film Niagara. To create the print, Warhol used five screens: one that held the main outline of the image, and four to transfer different areas of color onto the work. Often these colorful additions were printed off-register to add a sense of detachment and irregularity to the work. This subverts the idealized imagery of the original promotional photograph. There is a thrilling juxtaposition in this work as Marilyn epitomizes the American dream and the glamourous world of consumerism, and yet there is a tinge of melancholy and death contained in the work as we know that Marilyn’s life was less than dreamlike. We are made to confront the manufactured image, clearly unreal, and how we, as the consumer, contribute to the product of fame.

This series, produced in 1967, was the first published by Factory Additions, a company Warhol created to publish his prints. Many of Warhol’s most famous works were produced through this endeavor, including the Marilyns and the Campbell’s Soup prints, all of which were signed and given edition numbers by Warhol himself. This Marilyn print builds on an earlier 1962 work that first used the Marilyn image, titled Marilyn Diptych, that was completed just weeks after the actor’s death. Warhol notoriously commented about the repeated image that “The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel”.

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