The 40-square-inch “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”, one of dozens of paintings Monroe made in the 1960s, will go on sale in New York this May, the auction house announced Monday.
A colorful reproduction of Warhol’s portrait of a Hollywood star – originally promoting his 1953 film “Niagara” – is one of Campbell’s most recognizable works, along with his signature portraits of Soup Can.
American pop artist Andy Warhol photographed in 1983 at his New York studio, Factory. Credit: Brownie Harris / Corbis / Getty Images
Using a technique called silkscreen printing, which mimics images on paper or canvas using a layer of fine-mesh silk like a stencil, he began making them in 1962, shortly after Monroe’s death. Like portraits of other celebrities, including Elvis Presley and Chinese leader Mao Zedong, the pop artist has created numerous versions of Monroe’s portraits in a variety of colors and configurations.
In 1964, he created a “more refined and time-intensive” new process that, according to Christie, “was the opposite of the mass production for which he was best known.” That year, he used it to create a limited number of portraits – before abandoning the technique – in a rare group of works that included “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn.”
Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”. Credit: Christie’s
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” meanwhile, was owned by high-profile galleryists and collectors before the late Swiss art dealer Thomas Amman bought it. It is being put up for auction by the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation Zurich, a charity founded in her (and her sister’s) name, which will use the proceeds to finance health and education activities for children worldwide, according to a press release.
Related videos: Why is the industry so expensive?
Described by Christie’s as “one of the rarest and most exciting paintings of existence”, the portrait is on display in galleries including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Center Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London.
“Botticelli’s’ Birth of Venus’, Da Vinci’s’ Mona Lisa ‘and Picasso’s’ Les Demoisles d’Avignon’, ‘Warhol’s’ Marilyn’ is definitely one of the best paintings of all time,” he added, “and this is once. For public presentation at the auction. “