Andy Warhol 1928-1987
Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million at Christie’s New York on May 9, setting a record for the most expensive art work by an American artist ever sold at auction.
There was much excitement leading up to the auction, in part because of the story behind the 40 x 40 inch silkscreen. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was based on a promotional photo of Marilyn Monroe from the film Niagara. Warhol had created a series of five in varying colors. They were stacked up in his studio when Dorothy Podbar, a visitor to the studio who considered herself a performance artist, pulled out a gun, aimed at Marilyn’s forehead, and shot through the stack.
The previous high price paid for the work of an American artist was $110.5 million for a skull painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat that sold at Sotheby’s in 2017 and a car crash work of Warhol’s that sold for $105.4 million in 2013.
The name of the new owner of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn has not been disclosed.
In 1967, Warhol created a work of Portraits of the Artists who were represented by New York art dealer Leo Castelli. Working with his signature multiples style, Warhol placed ten portraits of the ten artists on 2 x 2 inch, 3-D polystyrene boxes in ten different colors, a total of 100 boxes.
Andy Warhol’s Portrait of the Artists is available at Surovek Gallery.
The Changing World of Museums and Galleries
Museums and galleries have had to adjust to a new normal during the past two years. Many of the changes in the art world have been positive and have garnered an increased audience. The Met and other museums have offered virtual tours and activities for children that generated an increased interest in art.
In collaboration with the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim has initiated a Poet-in-Residence program that will include poetry readings and workshops to encourage community engagement with the museum. Taylor Johnson has been named the first Poet-in-Residence. Johnson is from Washington, D.C. He is the author of Inheritance, winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has reportedly appointed nightclub owner, Scott Sartiano, the 47-year-old founder of the members-only club Zero Bond, as his representative to The Met board. Board representatives in the past have been political heavyweights, something Sartiano is not. Hopefully, he will give fresh perspective to the role, as a liaison between the museum and the mayor, on issues like public funding and neighborhood relations.
Museums are constantly curating shows to appeal to art lovers, but they aren’t always as much fun as the current exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. I’ll have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli explores the way Jewish immigrants, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant.
The show’s title, comes from a scene in the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, during which Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal argue about sex over sandwiches at Katz’s Delicatessen.
The show will run through September 4, 2022.
Robin Pogrebin. Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ at $195 Million, Shatters Auction Record for an American Artist. The New York Times. May 9, 2022.
CBS News. Andy Warhol portrait Marilyn Monroe sells for $195 million, smashing record for most expensive work by a U.S. artist ever sold at auction. May 10, 2022.
Deborah Vankin. Sold for $195 million, Andy Warhol’s ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ sets new auction record. Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2022.
France24. Warhol Monroe portrait set to smash records at New York sales. July 5, 2022.
Julia Marsh. ‘The ultimate status symbol’: Adams appoints nightclub owner to Metropolitan Museum board. Politico. May 4, 2022.