Andy Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for 195 million: it’s a record –

by Laura Zangarini

For the portrait, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” paid the highest price ever for an American artwork sold at auction. But also a record for a work from the twentieth century

It portrays the actress Marilyn Monroesummary of American dreaman image universally recognized and imprinted in the collective consciousness, the painting most expensive of the twentieth century: one of the iconic pop portraits created by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the silkscreen titled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” (1964), he overcame with $195 million (184.4 million euros) the new world record at Christie’s in New York during the catalog sale of the «21st Century Evening Sale». After a bidding war lasted less than four minutes between as many potential buyers, the work was bought by the famous gallery owner Larry Gagosian present in the Rockefeller Center room. Gagosian declined to say whether he bought the painting for himself or for a client.

Christie’s had expected such a result and predicted on the eve of it 200 million dollars as a maximum of the starting estimate. The previous record for Warhol’s work was $105.4 million, set in 2013 by “Silver Car Accident (Double Disaster)» (1963). At $19 million, the painting of the king of pop art “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” drove off the stage, a masterpiece from 1955 by Pablo Picasso sold for 179.4 million in 2015, also at Christie’s in New York. However, it remains unreachable the pole position of the most expensive work of all time, “Savior of the World” by Leonardo da Vinci, sold in 2017 for 450 million dollars by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” was delivered to the auction house by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation in Zurich: all the proceeds of the sale benefits the entity dedicated to: improve children’s lives around the world through the provision of health care and education programs. With one hundred percent of the proceeds go to charitythe sale of this single painting constitutes thephilanthropic auction with the highest turnover since the sale of the catalog “The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller” in 2018.

The image that embodies the feeling of a beauty that enchants and who escaped together was replicated by Warhol in five square canvases titled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” (101.6 x 101.6 cm each), depicting the diva Marilyn Monroe being struck in the forehead by a single bullet with different colored backgrounds: red, orange, light blue, sage blue and turquoise. What is auctioned is painted sage blue† Andy Warhol’s Marilyn painting is certainly more famous now than the original advertising frame for the movie “Niagara” (1953) by Henry Hathaway on which it is based.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” is a definitive work in Warhol’s production. The king of pop art began make screen prints of Marilyn Monroe after his death in August 1962. He made several reproductions of his face in bright colours, often with some crooked features. In 1964 he developed a more refined and time-consuming screen printing technique, opposite to mass production for which he is best known and produced a limited number of portraits of the Hollywood legend. This one Technic it was so difficultin fact, that he never returned there. The spectacular portrait of the series “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” isolates the person and the star: Marilyn the woman is gone; the terrible circumstances of his life of his death they are forgotten. All that remains is the enigmatic smile that connects her to another mysterious smile of a distinguished woman, the Monna Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

Thomas and Doris Ammann were brothers and founders of Thomas Ammann Fine Art since 1977 Historic Gallery in Zurich which has supported numerous modern and contemporary art artists. They managed the gallery with unparalleled fervor and impeccable taste, naming it as: one of the most influential art spaces in Europe, loved and respected by the best collectors around the world. After her brother’s death in 1993, Doris continued to run the gallery successfully with her grace, knowledge and discretion, supporting careers of a influential generation of artists

“With proceeds from the sale to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, the brothers’ legacy will continue in its tradition of kindness and generosity that will have an impact on children’s lives generations,” said Georg Frei, chairman of the board of directors of the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation. Alex Rotter, president of Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Art, noted: main painting of the twentieth century, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, is theabsolute top of American Pop Art and the promise of the American dream it embodies optimismfragilityfamous person e iconography all together. The painting transcends the portrait genre in America and transcends the art and culture of the twentieth century. In addition to the Birth of Venus by Sando Botticelli, to the gamenda by Leonardo Da Vinci ea The ladies of Avignon by Pablo Picasso, Marilyn of Warhol is categorical one of the greatest paintings of all time”.

May 10, 2022 (change May 10, 2022 | 08:28)

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