Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Portraits Of The Artists, 1967; Screenprints on 100 polystyrene boxes in ten colors; Incised initials AW & numbered 152/200 in the Warhol lower right blue box; Artists left to right: Lee Bontecou, Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, & Andy Warhol; Published by Tanglewood Press, Inc., NY; Size - 20 3/4 x 20 3/4 x 1 1/2"; Catalog Raisonne: Feldman/Schellmann: II.17; Framed in a plexibox.
"My fascination with letting images repeat and repeat - or in film's case 'run on' - manifests my belief that we spend much of our lives seeing without observing." - Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol became part of a very exclusive group of artists that the famous and influential New York dealer, Leo Castelli, represented. Castelli (1907 - 1999) was an Italian-American art dealer. His New York gallery showed modern and contemporary artwork for five decades. Among the art movements which were covered included: Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Color Field, Hard-edge Geometric, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Neo-expressionism.
David Whitney, in 1967, organized an exhibition to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Leo Castilli Gallery. The show was entitled "Leo Castelli Ten Years," was held February 4-26, and included sixteen gallery artists. Andy Warhol's contribution (who came to the gallery late, after having two shows at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery) to the show was a series of individual canvas portraits of twelve of the gallery artists: Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and himself. The photographs of the artists were provided by the Castelli Gallery and Warhol then both cropped and enlarged them to created a silkscreen. The individual portrait images were then screened onto single colored canvases and were hung in the gallery foyer.
In early 1967 Tanglewood Press published a Portfolio entitled "Ten Faces of Leo Castelli," also to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Leo Castilli Gallery. Warhol's contribution was a variant of his work for the Castelli exhibition. The work was entitled "Portraits of the Artists" and depicts the same portrait images of ten of the Castelli artists (Chamberlain and Twombly were not included). Warhol screenprinted each portrait using black ink onto ten different colored 3-D polystyrene boxes, each measuring approximately 2” x 2”. The boxes were then put into a frame, but they were not attached to each other; thus allowing the owner to rearrange the boxes in any order (Note: The order pictured seems to be the original published orientation). The framed 100 boxes form a square work of art approximately 20” x 20” and the artists pictured here are left to right: Lee Bontecou, Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol.
"Portraits Of The Artists," 1967 is one of Warhol's greatest editioned works from the 1960's; the high period for Pop Art. The work certainly references the portrait that Warhol created for Ethel Scull, whose father was a wealthy taxi cab owner. "Ethel Scull 36 Times," 1963 was a series of equally sized portraits of Scull varying only in the portrait pose and the background color of the canvas. The 36 canvass, like "Portraits Of The Artists," could be rearranged into any order that most appealed to the owner. Both works illustrate the wonderful use of Warhol's fascination with repetition. For "Portraits Of The Artists," 1967 because the portrait is screened onto the top of a colored box, there is a shadow created on the bottom; further adding to the multiplicity of the portrait image. The edition for the multiple is only 200, however because so many from the edition are part of major art museums throughout the world (including the Museum of Modern Art and The Andy Warhol Museum), this is a wonderful opportunity to obtain a very rare, original, and important piece of Andy Warhol 1960's artwork!
"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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