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12 November 2013  |  New York, Rockefeller Center   |  PRINT  |  PDF
For Immediate Release

RELEASE: ANDY WARHOL’S COCA-COLA | The Icon of American Pop Art

"What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."           Andy Warhol

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE

12 November 2013 

New York - Christie's will offer one of the most famous Pop Art masterworks by Andy Warhol as the highlight of its evening sale. Painted in 1962, not only is Coca-Cola (3) a unique hand-painted picture — not a silkscreen — its subject has become the epitome of Pop.  Warhol paints his monumental bottle of Coca-Cola as tall as a human, its dramatic black and white contours creating an instantaneous impact.  With an estimate of $40,000,000-60,000,000, Coca Cola (3) has resided within the same private collection for almost two decades, and has been featured prominently in every major Warhol exhibition. It will be on view to the public in London from October 12th to the 18th, as part of the preview of New York Post-War and Contemporary Art highlights and will be sold at Rockefeller Plaza on November 12th.

 “At a time when international top collectors are looking for blue-chip masterpieces, nothing is more iconic than the remarkable hand-painted Coca-Cola by the master of Pop Art, Andy Warhol. Coca Cola (3) is one of the artist’s earliest works which defines the Pop generation.  This museum quality work has been in one of the most important Warhol collections for almost two decades”, declared Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art. Christie’s evening sale in November will offer a unique dialogue between two masters of Pop, Andy Warhol with Coca-Cola (3) and Jeff Koons, with his Balloon Dog (Orange). Two different generations of Pop artists standing side by side; Andy Warhol is the father of everything we know about Pop Art and Jeff Koons is his anointed successor. Both create objects which are totally universal and loved by the public, truly POPular in that sense”, he added. 

Coca-Cola (3) is a large, sleekly executed, black and white and human-scaled portrait of the famously curvaceous Coca-Cola bottle. Painted in early 1962, it is the cool aesthetic, the impersonal, almost mechanical means of representation and the stand-alone nature of this commonplace consumer product on the blank canvas that so distinguishes this work. It would soon joins the Warholian pantheon of famous names and brands; this stark, simple, elegant and towering form of an instantly recognizable commodity and its famous logo is one that stands firmly alongside that of the Campbell’s Soup Can or the portraits of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe as a quintessential icon of America and the Twentieth Century.

An enduring symbol of the United States as a whole, the Coca-Cola bottle is a fascinating, if also troubling, icon of modern mass-consumerist culture. The most recognizable brand in the world, Coca-Cola is a symbol as resonant and contentious today in our globalized age of corporation culture and what has even been termed the ‘Cocacolonisation’ of the world, as it was at the height of the ‘Mad-Men’ era of the early 1960s when the young advertising illustrator and aspiring artist Andrew Warhola first made it. Coca Cola (3) is an historic work and as Warhol’s memoirs of the 1960s attest, the story of its genesis is also the story of the beginnings of Pop art in America. 

“I feel I represent the U.S. in my art but I’m not a social critic. I just paint those things in my paintings because those are the things I know best. I’m not trying to criticize the U.S. in any way, not show up any ugliness at all. I’m just a pure artist I guess.”  Andy Warhol

 

 

London King Street                             12-18 October 2013

New York                                              8-12 November 2013

Sale                                                         12 November 2013

Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 10020 New York

Related Sale Sale 2791
Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
12 November 2013
New York, Rockefeller Plaza


Related Departments Post-War & Contemporary Art



About Christie’s
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2013 that totaled £2.4 billion/ $3.68 billion. In 2012, Christie’s had global auction and private sales that totaled £3.92 billion/$6.27 billion making it the highest annual total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totaled £465.2 million ($711.8 million) in the first half of 2013, an increase of 13% on the previous year, and for the third successive year represents the highest total for the period in both company and art market history.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

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Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Coca-Cola <3> casein on cotton 69 3/8 x 54 in. (176.2 x 137.2 cm.) Painted in 1962. Estimate: $40,000,000-60,000,000