Sale: 496 / Evening Sale, Dec. 06. 2019 in Munich Lot 126

 
126
Andy Warhol
Portrait of a Lady, 1984.
Post auction sale: € 400,000 / $ 440,000
+
Lot description
Portrait of a Lady. 1984.
Synthetic polymer- and silkscreen colors on canvas.
Verso of the folded canvas signed, dated and inscribed with the hand-written number "PO 50.257". There also with the estate stamp, the stamp of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., as well as with the hand-written inscription "VF". 101.6 x 101.6 cm (40 x 40 in).

• This portrait has everything that mattered to Andy Warhol: glamour, beauty, masquerade!
• Fascinating interplay of commission portrait and self portrait.
• Impressive example of Warhol's yearning for a transformation of the self and his ability to add aspects of his own personality to his femal models.
• Unique object
.

PROVENANCE: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.
Galerie Rudolf Budja, Salzburg (with the gallery's label on verso of the frame).
Private collection Berlin.

"I look pretty good in drag."
Andy Warhol in a diary entry from February 16, 1981, quote from: ex. cat. Contact Warhol: Photography Without End, Cantor Arts Center Stanford, September 29, 2018 - January 6, 2019, Stanford 2018, p. 87.
“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.“ (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, New York 1975, S. 92.).



Essay
“Don‘t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.“ (Andy Warhol, http://www.the-culture-counter.com/andy-warhol-philosopher/) In a photo session in1983 Warhol made a lot of Polaroids of her, one of them would later serve as basis for the silkscreen print on canvas. Even though she was not as famous as Elizabeth Taylor or Liza Minelli, Warhol rendered the portrait with likewise thoughtfulness and arranged it in same composition. For his commission works Andy Warhol always respected his clients’ wishes, at the same time he took into account that art collectors are obsessed with the desire to own a unique object, so he reduced the number of canvasses with the same motif while the variation became more versatile and more perfect in form, flaws and shortcomings that he accepted as part of the production process of works from his early period of creation gave way to a nearly perfect color application. Nevertheless, he still integrated own ideas and wishes and succeeded in convincing his clients thereof. This becomes particularly obvious in the work offered here. "I wonder whether it‘s harder for 1) a man to be a man, 2) a man to be a woman, 3) a woman to be a woman, or 4) a woman to be a man. I don‘t really know the answer, but from watching all the different types, I know that people who think they‘re working the hardest are the men who are trying to be a woman.“ (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), New York, 1975, S. 98.)
In the early 1980s Warhol and his photo assistant Christopher Makoscame up with the idea of posing in costumes. For some of his films and self-portraits he dressed in drag, which earned him the nickname "Drella" among friends and colleagues– a combination of "Dracula“ and "Cinderella". Over decades Warhol used every opportunity to play to the gallery, masking and transforming himself in every conceivable manner, taking on different identities and delivering prove of his chameleon qualities. The self-portraits as transvestite are definitely the most subtle expressions of his ambivalent self-perception. Fascinated by Hollywood’s extravagant dream world, he imitated the illustrious poses of his idols like Greta Garbo and Truman Capote – as many photographs in the inventory of theAndy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh show. In the examination of the immaculate beauty of the stars he was confronted with his own physical shortcomings– the big nose, impure skin, thin hair– under which he suffered throughout his entire life. There are early photos in which he tried to cover up these flaws with pencil or ink. Later on he would always wear a noticeable wig sprayed with silver. In a diary entry Warhol mentions that he had "glued" himself more than sixty times. This term does not only refer to the fixation of the wig, Warholused "gluing" to describe the entire process of preparation for a night out, putting on makeup, choosing a dress and getting his hair done. Warhol even hired a makeup artist who transformed his face into the face of a woman by applying an intensive white makeup, which also helped to cover up all the cosmetic imperfections. In the end his face seemed to be just as perfect as the faces of all his celebrities. Photographs show him in a variety of dressesand wigs with curly, long, short, dark or blonde hair, making every Polaroid a unique piece.\line “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have but that he, for some reason, thinks it would be a good idea to give them.“ (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, New York 1975, S. 144.)\line The ”Portrait of a Lady“ resembles the Polaroids so much that one may assume that this work is a self-portrait, at the same time it has everything that mattered to Warhol: beauty, glamourand masquerade.The portrait is mask-like, with a perfect complexion, wrinkle-free and highly staged. Accordingly, this portrait is not just a representation of his client, but a document of the artist’s idea of beauty. [CE]
 


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Andy Warhol "Portrait of a Lady"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 32 % buyer's premium
Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 32%, for the share above € 500,000: 27% buyer's premium
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 25 % buyer's premium plus statutory sales tax Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 25%, for the share above € 500.000: 20% buyer's premium, each plus statutory sales tax

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Resale right apportionment:
Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 1.5% plus statutory sales tax.