Auction News

Warhol screen print could top £500,000


Silkscreen portrait of Joseph Beuys by Andy Warhol

A silkscreen portrait by Andy Warhol of German artist Joseph Beuys will be sold in London on June 26. It is expected to realise between £400,000 and £600,000.

The dark image is one of a series Warhol created from a single portrait photograph of the German artist taken in 1979.

Beuys is now considered one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century. He produced a wide spectrum of work, including performance art. He was influential in the Fluxus movement in which Yoko Ono also participated.

Beuys and Warhol first met in Dusseldorf in 1979. Author David Galloway wrote: “It carried the ceremonial weight of two rival popes meeting in Avignon.”

Beuys, shown meeting Warhol for the first time in his trademark felt hat.

They afterwards met many times and collaborated on one project. Observers noted their wildly different temperaments and interests.

Warhol took a Polaroid of Beuys at his Factory Studio in New York city in November 1979.

From 1980 to 1986 Warhol made a series of screen-printed portrait from this image.

Bueys died in 1986, Warhol in 1987.

The portrait being sold at Sotheby’s on June 26 is a 1980 acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas print. It is 40 inches by 40 inches.

It has passed from a private owner to the Skarstedt Gallery in New York then to the collection of Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg. It is being sold by a private owner who bought it from Ropac in 2015.

The dark image is a result of Warhol painting over the canvas with black paint.

Andy Warhol is a category alone in the world art market.

In the 10 years from 2012 to 2022 he was ranked number one selling artist (by value) 4 times (and was 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th the other years).

In 2022, $590 million-worth of Warhols changed hands. Among those pieces was the $195 million Shot Sage Blue Marilyn that set a record for the artist.

Prices for Warhol rarely falter. His works are rare, but aren’t always completely unique; he reproduced his own work constantly in limited runs and series of images that varied slightly.

“The new art is really a business,” Warhol reportedly said in 1969.

The sale of his Beuys portrait later this month will be a test of the Warhol market in 2024.

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