ARTMARKET.COM – A $ 200m Warhol Explained by Artprice for Five Reasons – 05/09/2022 – 13H00

Marylin Monroe’s glamorous face painted by arguably the greatest artist in American history is poised to win the second highest auction ever. At least that is what Christie’s, the very prestigious auction house, claims without really justifying its estimate. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) offered on May 9, 2022 in New York, where it could well mark a new turning point in the Art Market.


Andy WARHOL – Marilyn Monroe (FS II.29) Issue 250, sold by Revolver Gallery on Artprice’s Marketplace

All conditions are met to reach a new milestone “, Confirms Thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of and its Artprice Department:” Last year, a painting by Picasso sold for $ 103 million, but the record that really made an impression was Beeple for $ 69 million. The market then took real risks, which it had not done since the sale of Salvator Mundi in 2017: the only auction to date over $ 200 million. “.

Caution and common sense still do not prevail when it comes to offering a truly iconic work. However, Artprice identifies five good reasons that justify an estimate of $ 200 million. The work’s extraordinary characteristics and the perfect timing of the sale could set the auction in motion.

1. Andy Warhol’s rating at its highest

When Andy Warhol comes out of the health crisis, the rating is back on top. Auction sales of his works reached $ 348 million in 2021, exceeding the $ 300 million threshold for the first time in six years thanks to about 1,600 works sold worldwide. Andy Warhol once again becomes the third most successful artist in the world after Pablo Picasso and his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat.

November 15, 2021 online Ni Marilyn (1962) was one of the highlights of the sale of the Macklowe Collection, the most valuable collection ever sold at auction. Estimated between $ 40m and $ 60m by Sotheby’s, the canvas was finally purchased for $ 47.4m. Without frills, it would have made it possible to relaunch Warhol’s highly advanced market and reassure sellers.

2. The best time of creation

If Warhol’s works circulate abundantly in auction rooms, his masterpieces remain relatively rare, especially the most famous series, including Campbell Soup, Mao, Jackie Kennedy, etc. Among these paintings, the color pieces are now almost all confined to major museums. So much so that of Andy Warhol’s five most beautiful historical auctions, four were made in black and white and the fifth in black and green. No one, to tell the truth, sports the pop colors.

Top 5 Andy Warhol Auctions

1. Silver car accident (1963) – $ 105.4 million. – 13/11/2013 – Sotheby’s NY

2. Triple Elvis (1963) – 81.9 million. USD – 12/11/2014 – Christie’s NY

3. Green car accident (1963) – 71.7 million. USD – 16/05/2007 – Christie’s NY

4. Marlons oven (1966) – 69.6 million. USD – 12/11/2014 – Christie’s NY

5. Men in her life (1962) – $ 63.4 million. – 08/11/2010 – Phillips de Pury NY

However, these five works have in common that they were created in the 1960s, the most creative decade in Andy Warhol’s career. Year in which he will also have performed the series Shot Marilyn, including the piece that Christie’s will sell this Monday, May 9th. Only one painting from this series has so far gone to auction: Shot Red Marilyn (1964), successively sold for $ 4 million in 1989, then $ 3.6 million in 1994 by Christie’s in New York.

A work full of history

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) is part of a set of five portraits of the fetish actress of the 1950s who would one day have drawn artist-performer Dorothy Podber. The story goes that Andy Warhol naively would have accepted that she was “shooting” these works, and of course thought that the young woman would just photograph them. The mistake was quickly corrected, so the American artist’s commercial genius turned this incident to his advantage by making these five canvases even more exceptional by adding yet another story to the myth of Marilyn, the factory, pop art, and appropriationism.

As Christie’s points out, it’s not just one of the most beautiful works by Andy Warhol in circulation: it comes from one of the most legendary collections in existence, that of the famous art dealer and friend of the artist, Thomas Ammann ? Like Leo Castelli, the latter helped make Warhol’s work famous by exhibiting it alongside Francis Bacon, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

4. Icon of post-war art and NFTs

For fifteen years, Andy Warhol has been the most successful post-war artist in the art market. Its success is based on both a work that can be recognized among thousands and a radically innovative artistic approach, which in many respects will have opened the way for contemporary art. By questioning the reproducibility of works as well as the tendentious relationship between art and money, his work will have challenged many preconditions.

However, these questions are posed directly today by NFTs, a phenomenon whose success is closely based on the emergence of cryptocurrencies and playing with the variation of a topic, to the point where 10,000 versions are created for collections of PFPs ( image for proof).

By May 2021, Christie’s had also put up for sale in the form of NFT five digital works by Warhol, found on a floppy disk.

5. An extremely favorable economic situation

NFT sales contributed to the recovery of the global art market in 2021. This new category of work accounted for only 1.4% of global sales revenue (by $ 232 million), but the results of Beeple, Pak or Larva Labs have aroused collectors ready to find an art market that is a little too predictable, a little too well oiled.

However, the year 2022 started quite cautiously compared to the previous financial year. The London market recorded several very good results, including an admirable record for René Magritte of almost $ 80 million, while a work by Chardin in Paris exceeded $ 26 million. However, sales have not yet really started in New York. The month of May must thus mark the great departure, with the prestigious spring sessions.

It is in this context that the sale of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), in the form of a charity sale.

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Copyright 1987-2022 thierry Ehrmann

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