Marilyn: l'oeuvre la plus hère de Warhol

Marilyn: Warhol's most famous work

Next May, the famous auction house Christie's will put Andy Warhol's iconic painting "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" on sale in New York. Estimated at $200 million, this work is likely to become the most expensive 20th century work in history.

This iconic work could dethrone Pablo Picasso's "Women of Algiers" (1955), sold for $179.4 million in 2015, in first place among the most expensive works of the 20th century. Remember that the work most expensive in the world is the very famous “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci, which sold for $450 million in 2017.

A Hollywood icon who became a Pop Art star

It was when Marilyn Monroe died that Andy Warhol began making screen prints from her portrait. Two years later he developed a very complex reproduction technique allowing him to obtain these famous colors. He therefore created a very limited number of portraits of Marilyn. This work will become a legend to the point of being studied years later by all students of art history.

“Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop culture and the promise of the American dream that encapsulates optimism, fragility, celebrity and iconography all at once. » according to Alex Rotter, one of the co-directors of Christie’s.

The painting has traveled all over the world since it has been exhibited in the most prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Center Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Centro de Arte Reine Sofia in Madrid, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and even the Fondation Beyeler in Basel.

Andy Warhol and the art market

In 1998, the last time one of Andy Warhol's five precious Marilyns was sold at auction, the estimate of $2 million to $3 million was greatly exceeded to $17 million. Today, the auction house intends to shatter the artist's auction record held to date by Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963) which sold for $105.4 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2013.

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