A decidedly rare and never-before-displayed Andy Warhol painting will make its public debut at Masterpiece London from 25 June to 1 July. The work depicts socialite and Manhattan-based real estate attorney Olga Berde Mahl and is unsurprisingly titled The Socialite. The painting was created between 1986–87, and comes to the fair courtesy of Indianapolis gallery Long-Sharp Gallery.
The Mahl portrait has never been displayed as it was sold directly to its subject, and was in the socialite’s possession until the gallery acquired it via her agent Robert Feldman. Warhol painted two portraits of Mahl, the second of which is still in her possession.
Warhol used the money from the sale to aid in paying for his studio at 123 Watts Street in 1987. The Long-Sharp Gallery specialises in the secondary market works by high-grossing modern and contemporary artists, and has an emphasis on Warhol, Picasso, Miro, Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, and Roy Lichtenstein.
“We reserved this exceptional, fresh to the market, hand signed work for exhibition at Masterpiece London,” said director Rhonda Long-Sharp in a press release. “The provenance…speaks both to the integrity of the piece and our gallery’s decision to acquire it.”
“Unseen works by Warhol are rare,” stated Masterpiece London CEO Nazy Vassegh.
Warhol’s portraits of women are among some of his most celebrated works and the artist depicted many famous women in history, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, to name just a few. The work comes with an affidavit asserting the authenticity of the piece.
Masterpiece London provides a platform for cross-collecting and presents art, antiques and design from over 150 of the world’s leading galleries.