Warhol’s Portrait of Marilyn Monroe Sells for $195 M. at Auction – ARTnews.com


Andy Warhol’s 1964 silkscreen portrait of Marilyn Monroe, arguably 1 of the most recognizable illustrations or photos born out of the very last century, bought for a history-placing $195 million (which include charges) at Christie’s New York on Monday night. The final result would make it the most pricey perform by a 20th-century artists at any time to be sold at auction.

It sold to artwork seller Larry Gagosian, who was bidding in the place.

The portray, Swarm Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), depicts a press photograph from Monroe’s 1953 noir film Niagara. The image of the actress is one Warhol employed continuously in his perform right up until his death in 1987. It derives from his “Shot Marilyn” portrait series, which Warhol produced right after an incident at his downtown studio when he prompted a collaborator, Dorothy Podber, to shoot into a stack of canvases.

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The end result for this 1964 do the job almost doubled the artists’s past auction report of $105.4 million, set when his 1963 canvas Silver Car or truck Crash (Double Disaster) offered at Sotheby’s in 2013. The current ton had been held in a non-public selection for 5 many years.

With the sale, Christie’s also rode a double-pronged pop culture wave of renewed curiosity in equally Warhol and Monroe. This yr, Netflix produced a six-portion documentary series The Andy Warhol Diaries searching at artist’s individual daily life, as nicely as a documentary film, The Secret of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes. And just previous 7 days, the resurgence of Monroe’s 1962 tailor made-made nude gown, which the star infamously wore when she sang a breathy “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy, just months prior to her loss of life, was donned by Kim Kardashian at the Achieved Gala. Kardashian’s determination to dress in the actual gown on the crimson carpet subsequently brought about a stir amid trend archivists.

Four bidders—one on the telephone with Christie’s co-chairman of Christie’s Impressionist and Modernist, Adrien Meyer, two others on the cellphone with New York experts, and a bidder in the room—competed for the work, which was available as the final great deal of the evening.

The portray, which was made available in the sale without the need of a financial guarantee, hammered at a bid of $170 million, likely to Gagosian, the place bidder, for a closing cost of $195 million. The hammer value was $30 million below the $200 million estimate on ask for that Christie’s had specified it forward of the auction.

The function was marketed from the estate of Swiss artwork sellers Thomas and Doris Ammann, siblings who cofounded Thomas Ammann Great Artwork in 1977, which lengthy boasted a roster of  high-profile collectors of fashionable and modern day art. Doris, who survived her brother, ran the enterprise until finally her dying at age 76 in March 2021.

Not only did Swarm Sage Blue Marilyn bring a new artist record for Warhol, it has also develop into a person of the most high priced is effective of artwork ever to offered at auction, surpassing Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”) as the second higher-advertising get the job done to hit the auction block. That portray offered at Christie’s for $179 million in 2015 to Qatari royal Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. (The most pricey work to ever promote at auction was Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, for $450 million.)

The new benchmark for Warhol falls in lockstep with the values for blue-chip brand identify artists, New York artwork appraiser David Shapiro instructed ARTnews. Is effective from the famed “Shot Marilyn” collection, of which there are only 5, Shapiro stated, have long been remarkably sought after and there are only a handful of private collectors with the indicates to acquire 1.

However the milestone selling price brings Warhol to rival Picasso as the most precious artists of modern day age, Shapiro stated, “Within the greater market place for trophy art, the determine of $200 million is extremely substantially in holding with prices recognized in the private seller marketplace for rather a few many years.”


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