New York – Marilyn by Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) hits the auction block at Bonhams, leading the Prints & Multiples Sale in New York on May 12. Held privately since it was purchased in the ‘80s, this version of Marilyn with bright blond hair, ice green eyeshadow and red lips is considered one the artist’s most coveted examples, created at the height of the Pop Art movement in 1967. The estimate is $200,000-250,000.
Marilyn was collected in 1984 by a local patron in Philadelphia who adored the actress and was looking to support the arts. Knowing little about the artist, he bought prints of his favorite actress and a Campbell’s Soup for roughly $600 from The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Rental Gallery.
During Warhol’s prolific career in the 1960s, up until his death in 1984, Warhol returned to the Hollywood icon as a subject several times. Fame, tragedy, and mass culture are represented across Warhol’s works, with Marilyn being the artist’s most famous muse.
“Warhol’s impact on the artworld is so significant that he continues to fascinate new generations of collectors decades after his death,” commented Deborah Ripley, Director of Bonhams Prints & Multiples in New York. “Marilyn is a classic icon in his oeuvre and this 1960s print is one of the best examples available, and relatively affordable when compared to the astonishing prices of the paintings.”
Bonhams announces this sale a mere week after its Los Angeles Prints sale, where Warhol prints continued to break records, including the 1979 Grapes portfolio which soared past its low estimate fetching a new world auction record of $462,813 (inc. premium).
Other highlights in the Prints & Multiples sale include:
- A powerful lithograph from Barbara Kruger (b. 1945), and one of her most famous works with several editions in institutional collections,Savoir c’est pouvoir (Knowledge is Power) (1989), will be offered for an estimate of $25,000-30,000.
- Large Bright Blue, from Eight Color Etchings series (1980), considered one of Richard Diebenkorn’s (1922-1993) most important graphic works that translate his famous Ocean Park paintings into vibrantly colored etchings, estimated at $100,000-150,000.