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Pop Artist Warhol Rolls Royce Goes Under The Hammer - ArtLyst Article image

Pop Artist Warhol Rolls Royce Goes Under The Hammer

17-10-2011
 
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The aspirational brown motor car is offered by Bonhams Auctioneers

"The legendary Pop Artist Andy Warhol's car is to join other famed autos at a Scottsdale sale of fine and classic cars. Screen goddess Marlene Dietrich's 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom will be in good company at Bonhams' inaugural Scottsdale sale come January. The 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow owned by Andy Warhol has just been added to the list of impressive automobiles that will be offered by the 217-year old auction house. Warhol, perhaps the most famous artist of the Post War period, whose  paintings can command $100-million, purchased the Silver Shadow new and owned it until his untimely death, 13 years later, in 1987. Sold by the artist's family approximately a year after his passing, the Rolls-Royce has only had two subsequent owners and comes with a copy of the original New York Certificate of Title bearing Warhol's name. Bonhams has received worldwide attention for the number and quality of Rolls-Royce motorcars the firm has been selected to represent. Just recently, Bonhams sold the 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Ceremonial Victoria owed by the Maharaja of Mysore, an exceedingly rare 1908 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Roi-des-Belges, and the utterly unique 1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Gentleman's Roadster made for the heir of the Proctor family fortune, not to mention numerous other Rolls-Royce cars. "Discerning collectors trust us," says Mark Osborne, US Head of Motoring at Bonhams, "and that's why we are privileged to represent cars of such provenance. We have substantial expertise with Rolls-Royce, including having sold the oldest known Rolls-Royce in the world, and this knowledge and experience bodes well for both buyers and sellers."
The Scottsdale sale will take place at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in the heart of sunny Scottsdale (near Phoenix, Arizona) on January 19th.

Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola August 6, 1928. Born to Slovak immigrants, he was reared in a working class suburb of Pittsburgh. From an early age, Warhol showed an interest in photography and drawing, attending free classes at Carnegie Institute. The only member of his family to attend college, he entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1945, where he majored in pictorial design. Upon graduation, Warhol moved to New York with fellow student Philip Pearlstein. He found steady work as a commercial artist working as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. He also did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Prophetically, his first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article titled "Success is a Job in New York."

Throughout the nineteen fifties, Warhol enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. During this period, he shortened his name to "Warhol." In 1952, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. Subsequently, Warhol's work was exhibited in several venues throughout the fifties including his first group show at The  Museum of Modern Art in 1955. In 1953 the artist produced his first illustrated book, A is an Alphabet and Love is a Pink Cake, which he gave to his clients and associates. With a burgeoning career as an illustrator, he formed Andy Warhol Enterprises in 1957.

1960 marked a turning point in Warhol's prolific career. He painted his first works based on comics and advertisements, enlarging and transferring the source images onto his canvases with an opaque projector. In 1961, Warhol showed his paintings, Advertisement, Little King, Superman, Before and After, and Superman, Before and After, and Saturday's Popeye in a window display of Bonwit Teller department store. Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art including the Campbell's Soup Can, Marilyn and Elvis series. In 1962, the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles exhibited his Campbell's Soup Cans and in New York, the Stable gallery showed the Baseball, Coca-Cola, Do It Yourself and Dance Diagram paintings among others. In 1963 Warhol established a studio at 231 East 47th Street which became known as the "Factory."

In addition to painting and creating box sculptures such as Brillo Box and Heinz Box, Warhol began working in other mediums including record producing (The Velvet Underground), magazine publishing (Interview) and filmmaking. His avant-garde films such as Chelsea Girls, Blow Job and Empire have become classics of the underground genre. In 1968, Valerie Solanis, a periodic factory visitor, and sole member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) walked into the Factory and shot Warhol. The attack was near fatal.

In the 1970's, Warhol renewed his focus on painting and worked extensively on a commissioned basis both for corporations and for individuals whose portrait he painted. Works created in this decade include Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Torsos, Maos and Shadows. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again). Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol was given a major retrospective of his work at the Pasadena Art Museum which traveled to museums around the world. In the late seventies Warhol began dictating an oral diary to his colleague Pat Hackett, which became the basis for the best-selling Andy Warhol Diaries. He also frequented Studio 54 along with other members of the international jet-set saying, "I have a social disease. I have to go out every night."

The artist began the 1980's with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s. He also began work on Andy Warhol's TV, a series of half hour of video programs patterned after Interview magazine. In 1985, "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" appeared on MTV, half hour programs featuring celebrities, artists, musicians, and designers, with Warhol as the host. The paintings he created during this time included Dollar Signs, Guns and Last Suppers. He also produced several paintings in collaboration with other artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente.

Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died of complications during his recovery on February 2, 1987. After his burial in Pittsburgh, his friends and associates organized a memorial mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on April 1 that was attended by more than 2,000 people.


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