The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Christie’s have struck a partnership deal for all future sales of Andy Warhol’s work from its vast collection.
The foundation recognises that the arts community needs its support now more than ever, as they seek to significantly increase their endowment in order to ensure and expand their long-term support of the visual arts. Christie’s will now conduct phased sales over a period of years using multiple platforms, including single artist live auctions, private sales and continuing online auctions, bringing a wide range of Warhol’s art – much of which has never before been seen by the public at large – to existing as well as new collectors worldwide. At the same time, the Foundation also plans to mark its 25th Anniversary by making additional gifts of significant works to museums, continuing its long history of donating Warhol’s art. Paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, and printed graphic material by Andy Warhol will be offered first at a series of single-artist live auctions on November 12, 2012.
Online auctions will begin in February 2013, with private sales conducted on an ongoing basis. Sales will thus be phased over a multi-year period in wide distribution. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was created at the late artist’s direction for the purpose of advancing the visual arts. Since its founding in 1987, the Foundation has pursued that mission by making nearly $250 million in grants to hundreds of museums and non-profit arts organizations nationwide; through grants made to individual artists and arts writers through its ―sister foundation‖ Creative Capital; and through the Andy Warhol Museum, which it founded and endowed with a permanent collection of nearly 4,000 iconic artworks as well as with archival materials. Michael Straus, Chairman of the Board of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, stated, “For a quarter of a century, the Foundation has carefully honored and preserved the artistic legacy of Andy Warhol by pursuing the mission laid out by him – to advance the visual arts. It has done so principally through grants funded by sales of artworks left to the Foundation in Warhol’s will, as well as through gifts of such works to museums. We have now chosen to mark the Foundation’s 25th anniversary year by expanding the scope of our art sales in order to increase our future grant-making capacity. Christie’s enthusiasm for this endeavor, its deep experience with Warhol’s work, and its spirit of innovation all combine to make it the ideal partner for this venture.” Steven Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s, stated, “It is a great honor for Christie’s to be chosen by the Warhol Foundation for this singular initiative. We believe the multifaceted program we have developed for this collaboration will make these sales a model of creating awareness and access in this new day in the art market. By engaging with collectors across the three mediums of auction, private sale and online, this program will bring the work of Andy Warhol both to those who already acquire masterpieces and to new audiences anywhere and everywhere in the world who never before imagined they could own a Warhol.”
Joel Wachs, President of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, added, “These sales will provide unprecedented global access to Andy Warhol’s work, in keeping with the artist’s own democratizing philosophy and working methods. The gifts we will make to museums along with the enhanced grant-making made possible by the art sales, when taken together, will underscore Warhol’s legacy and impact on the art world and will provide an even more secure basis to expand that philanthropy in the future.” Amy Cappellazzo, Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Development at Christie’s, stated, “Andy Warhol is the only major artist we could take to the world in this innovative format — and with the art market having developed internationally to its present level, now is the time for this unprecedented move. We feel privileged to be representing the unimaginably rich and continually surprising collection of the Foundation, which encompasses virtually every aspect of Warhol’s prodigious artistic production.” As part of its service to the Foundation, Christie’s will launch a special promotional website (a micro-site of Christies.com) in October. The site will offer the public a central, highly visual resource for sale-related information throughout the years of the partnership. In February 2013, when online sales begin, also plans to launch a web-based series of ―flash auctions,‖ which will include a range of approachable price points. Andy Warhol is widely recognized as one of the defining figures of 20th century art and culture and as a philanthropist of extraordinary generosity. As an artist, he unabashedly embraced the populist and the commercial. As a philanthropist, he ensured that his giving would extend past his death by establishing The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which received almost the entirety of his estate.