Marilyn Monroe (F & S II. 31) 1967

by Andy Warhol

DIMENSIONS: Unframed 36.0 x 36.0 inches (91.4 x 91.4 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed in pencil and numbered edition 54/250 published by Factory Editions New York
MEDIUM: Silkscreen print in colours

Warhol adored Marilyn for both her vibrant character and her flawless beauty. In this work, Warhol presents a nostalgic portrayal of the celebrated icon, producing this series just two years after her tragic death. Warhol chose a promotional photograph for the 1953 film Niagara, taken at the height of her fame to immortalise her forever in his work.

Catalogue No: 5437 Categories: , ,

Description

“The irony of Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ is that it is an icon of an icon created by an icon” (Isabella Geist, ‘Warhol’s “Marilyn”’, in: Forbes Magazine, 24 April, 2002)

Warhol adored Marilyn for both her vibrant character and her flawless beauty. In this work, Warhol presents a nostalgic portrayal of the celebrated icon, producing this series just two years after her tragic death. Warhol chose a promotional photograph for the 1953 film Niagara, taken at the height of her fame to immortalise her forever in his work.

The actor’s face is repeated in a series of startling colour transformations throughout the series, giving each colour way a different personality. In number 21, the garish combination of fluorescent yellow and pink compiled with the bold outlines give an almost death-mask like quality to the Silver-screen star’s features.

Provenance

Provenance:

Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Biography:

Warhol studied pictorial design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, from 1945 to 1949.
He moved to New York in 1949 and worked as a commercial artist.

Warhol held his first one-man exhibition of drawings at the Hugo Gallery, New York, in 1952, and
published six books of reproductions of his own drawings 1954-9. He was awarded the Art Directors’
Club Medal for his shoe advertisements 1957.

A leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art, his works explore the relationship between
artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. It was during this
time that Warhol began to make paintings based on newspaper title pages, advertisements and other
mass-produced images, and from 1962 to use silkscreen for the largely mechanical production by
himself and assistants of series of easel paintings of ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’, ‘Coca-Cola Bottles’,
portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, and later also car crashes,
the electric chair, flowers and so on, sometimes with rows of repeated images.

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