Increasing the advance price for spring auctions and testifying to the lasting power of the premium awards, Christie’s announced that it will sell a 1964 Andy Warhol silkscreen to Marilyn Monroe in May for $200 million, making it the most expensive 20-century artwork ever to auction.
The announcement of the work, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” represents a huge burst of excitement for the high-end art market that has come largely through the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the most important paintings of the 20th century to be auctioned in a generation, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the ultimate pinnacle of American pop music and the promise of the American Dream, embodying optimism, fragility, fame and iconography all at once. Rotter, chair of Christie’s, 20th and 21st Century Art, said in a statement. Rotter said it was “one of the greatest paintings of all time”, likening it to the Mona Lisa, Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”, and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”.
The painting comes to Christie’s from the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation in Zurich, which supports health and educational programs for children. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the foundation, making the sale possibly the highest-profit charity auction since then From the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller At Christie’s in 2018.
Brothers Thomas and Doris Amann founded in 1977 Thomas Amann Fine Art, a gallery in Zurich that specializes in impressionist, modern, post-war and contemporary artists. after Thomas died in 1993Doris continued to lead the show. she He died last year.
Warhol’s auction record is $104.5 million For his movie “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” in 2013.
The silkscreen – striking with bright blue eyeshadow, yellow hair and red lips – is based on a promotional image from the actress’ Niagara movie, part of Warhol’s series of “Shot Marilyn” pictures. (The series is titled because, in 1964, a woman walked into Warhol’s factory studio and fired a punch gun at a stack of Marilyn’s four paintings.)
“The stunning image isolates the person and the star,” George Frey, president of the foundation, said in a statement. “Marlene the woman is gone; the terrible circumstances of her life and death are forgotten. All that remains is the mysterious smile that connects her with another mysterious smile of a distinguished lady, the Mona Lisa.”
The work has been shown at institutions including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Center Georges Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London.
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