Warhol’s Iconic ‘Marilyn’ Poised To Break Auction Records For 20th Century Art
By Alexa Heah, 22 Mar 2022
Hailed as “the most significant 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation,” Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn could rake in a record-shattering US$200 million when it goes under the hammer in May.
The iconic image, which will headline Christie’s Marquee Week of sales, may even become the world’s most expensive 20th century artwork to ever sell at auction.
“Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American Pop and the promise of the American Dream encapsulating optimism, fragility, celebrity, and iconography all at once,” said Alex Rotter, Christie’s Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art.
“The painting transcends the genre of portraiture in America, superseding 20th century art and culture,” he added.
Notably, the artwork’s current owners, the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, have pledged 100% of proceeds from the sale to charity, possibly setting the record for the highest grossing philanthropic auction since 2018.
According to Christie’s, Warhol had first began creating silkscreens of Monroe following the actress’ death in August 1962.
The artist eventually crafted a limited series of images, each using a time-consuming printing technique, which was reportedly so difficult he never revisited it in later works.
There’s no doubt lots of hype will surround the sale in May, with Rotter comparing the piece to “Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” as “one of the greatest paintings of all time.”
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