for the art auction – Corriere.it

Icon of the last century, Mona Lisa of the twentieth century, the result of the American dream. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn Andy Warhol it’s more than just “acrylic paint and screen paint on canvas”. It is a universally recognized image, imprinted in the mass consciousness, and now it has become the most expensive work ever put up for auction among those made in the twentieth century.

Sold for $195 million

On May 9, a magnetic portrait of an American diva, created by a pop art poet in 1964, was awarded $195 million at auction for the Thomas and Doris Amman collection. Historical charm for an iconic item. Alex Rotter, president of Christie’s 20th and 21st century art department, called it “the most significant 20th century painting to be auctioned in a generation.” Emphasizing how the painting “goes beyond the genre of portraiture, replacing the art and culture of the twentieth century. Along with Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Picasso’s The Maid of Avignon, this is one of the greatest paintings of all time.

Paintings “climbed” Marilyn

Thus, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the most expensive work of the twentieth century, put up for auction. In second place in the general classification, dominated by the unrivaled $450 million “Savior of the World” Leonardo. Marilyn surpassed Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers (version O) to 179.4 million., two milky-lying naked bodies of Modigliani “Nu kushe” (170.4 million) and “Nu kushe (sur lekote goche)” (157.2 million) and “Three studies of Lucian Freud” (158.2 million) by Francis Bacon. Apparently, Warhol’s own auction record was also broken: the 1963 Double Disaster sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $105 million in 2013.

The buyer is gallery owner Larry Gagosian.

Based on the actress’s promotional image in the film Niagara, the work embodies a layered symbolism that ranges from being an icon of Marilyn to broken promises of the American dream. In 1962, Warhol began his series of portraits dedicated to Monroe. There are four similar to the Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. All squares – 1 meter by 1 meter – but each of a different color. The record-breaking version was painted in 1964 and boasts exhibits at the Guggenheim in New York, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris and the Tate Modern in London. It was bought by the owner of the mega-gallery, Larry Gagosian, who was present in the hall with a special palette dedicated to Marilyn.. It is said to resell it to his wealthy American client due to the symbolic power of the image in question. Even if the paths of the market are unpredictable.

Leo Castelli

Recall that in 1962 there were smaller versions (50×40 cm), which the artist offered to the famous gallery owner Leo Castelli. Although the offer was intriguing, Castelli decided not to exhibit them because Warhol’s work was too similar to the work of another artist in his gallery: Roy Lichtenstein. With great disappointment, the king of pop -che really wanted to work with Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella, everyone followed Castelli – they decided to exhibit the work at the Stable Gallery in New York. Each painting cost $250. They all went sold. In his second exhibition at the Stable Gallery, where he presented the Brillo boxes for the first time, Leo Castelli followed in his footsteps and began collaborating with the artist. Marilyn’s image has gone viral. An unprecedented pop phenomenon. In 1967, a set of prints depicting the diva sold for $500. Now those who find it will be lucky if they find it for several million euros. The symbolic load that the icon has reached is unimportant.

Group of five Marilyns

As for the group of five Marilyns that Shot Sage Blue Marilyn comes from, their history is quite interesting. In 1964 performance artist Dorothy Podber came to the Warhol Factory. She saw four of the five portraits hanging on the walls and was fascinated by them. He then asked Warhol if he could take them back (shoot, in English). He agreed. She pulled a pistol from her purse and fired (always shoot) between the eyes of the depicted Marilyns. The artistic act, he said, began with a play on words.. The only one missing and therefore saved was Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. Although restoring them was not easy for Warhol, renaming them was child’s play. It was they who became the Shot Marilyn. And their market value has skyrocketed since then.

Sales

In 1967, Peter Brant bought Blue Shot Marilyn for $5,000. In 1989, Los Angeles collector and computer mogul Max Palewski bought Shot Red Marilyn at auction for $4 million. In fairness, five years later he resold it, losing to us, for 3.6 million. Instead Orange Marilyn in 1998 reached 17 million in the hands of S.I. Newhouse, Empire Condenast. Even so, it was Larry Gagosian who actually proposed in the room. In 2007, Turquoise Marilyn was sold for $80 million. Then in 2018, in a private sale, Orange Marilyn was bought by American entrepreneur Kenneth Griffin for between $200 million and $250 million. Probably, it was on this sale that Christie’s relied on the assessment. Our Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was eventually bought by New York collector Leon Kraushar. He later moved to a contemporary art dealer. Fred Muller, who bought it in the early 1970s, and again from SI Newhouse. Thomas Ammann, whose Foundation auctioned the work on May 9, eventually purchased the portrait in the early 1980s. Whatever the intentions of the new owner, he certainly got a piece of history.

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