Lobster by Andy Warhol
Updated: May 28, 2018
Lobster, 1982; Unique Serigaph on Lenox Museum Board; Printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, New York; Stamped authenticated on the verso lower right; Size - Sheet: 40" x 22"; Image 24" x 20"; Frame 49" x 31"; Catalogue Raisonne: Feldman/Schellmann: IIIA.30
Andy Warhol decided in 1972 to purchase (along with Paul Morrissey) a home in or around the Hamptons. He ended up purchasing a 20 acre compound, referred to as the Church estate, located on the tip of Montauk that had wonderful views of the Atlantic ocean from its peak on top of the wind swept cliffs. The property had five small houses designed by the architect Stanford White, along with the main house complete with seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, four fireplaces, and large living areas that were perfect for entertaining a large numbers of guests. The $500,000 price was equally split between Warhol and Morrissey and it ended up being a huge investment because in 2007 the property sold for a bit below $30 million.
Warhol, in his usual mode of wanting to make money, rented Montauk to Lee Radziwill who is the younger sister of Jackie Onasis, the fashion designer Halston, and also to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones; who began recording for their next tour on the property. The list of visitors to Warhol's estate included Jackie Onasis with her children Caroline and John John, Jerry Hall, Liza Minelli, John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, and of course the entire cast of characters from Warhol's New York Factory.
The natural choice for food in the Hamptons and for Montauk was and still is, seafood. Lobsters and crabs can easily be acquired from fresh seafood markets and quickly steamed or used for outdoor lobster/crab bakes. There is little question that Warhol's exposure to Montauk's fresh seafood led him to use the lobster as POP Art subject matter.
The Lobster print is very rare, as only a few impressions were ever made. This work is even more unique because of it's composition. The Lobster is created from negative space as a result of blocking off the silkscreen and then screening black onto the white paper. It seems that the black screen had either been damaged during the screening process or that Warhol modified it in order to create a unique backdrop. Whatever the reason, the black background has a wonderful Morris Louis/Clyfford Still veil painting effect, which seems to enhance the white Lobster. The piece comes stamped "Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. Authentic" on the verso.
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