Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN POP ART COLLECTION
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Jackie

Details
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Jackie
with the Estate of Andy Warhol stamp; with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts stamp and numbered 'PA56.016' (on the overlap)
synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen inks on canvas
20 x 16in. (50.8 x 40.6cm.)
Executed in 1964
Provenance
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Literature
G. Frei and N. Printz (eds.), Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and Sculptures 1964-1969, vol. 02A, New York 2004, no. 1032 (illustrated in colour, p. 166).
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium

Lot Essay

Executed in 1964, Jackie shows the smiling First Lady and wife of President John F. Kennedy. She appears relaxed and glamorous in this intimate portrait. And yet, as in Warhol's pictures of Marilyn, there is a dark undercurrent to Jackie. For its context belies the smiling happiness of its content: this picture was taken as Jackie arrived in Dallas the fateful morning of 22 November 1963. Only hours later, one of the most famous gunshots in history would alter American history irrevocably... It is this sense of inevitability that is captured in Jackie, a sense of imminent tragedy that is at odds with the open smiles of the picture itself. This image, which was one of many of Jackie with which the media would be saturated for days and days after the death of the president, was soon seized upon by Warhol, who was fascinated by the media process, the frenzy and the demand for national and international grief that ensued. Friends recalled his being fascinated by the media circus around the event, watching all the programmes he could on the television, and within a very short time conceiving of the Jackies and The Week That Was.

Discussing his Marilyns and other such works, Warhol once explained that he had, 'realized that everything I was doing must have been Death... But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn't really have any effect' (Warhol, quoted in Andy Warhol Death and Disasters, exh. cat., Houston 1988, p. 19). This numbing that Warhol perceived as a strange facet of contemporary existence in the media age, a byproduct of the saturation of the press with the gruesome on a day-to-day basis, was briefly countered by the television channels and newspapers in the wake of Kennedy's death when they unleashed an amazing flood of imagery and coverage encouraging grief and despair. And yet paradoxically it is precisely this increased and repeated exposure to the same initially shocking news or image that plays a part in immunising the modern viewer to such traumas, meaning that the press reaction to our numbing increased the numbing... In a sense, then, the incongruous, tragic, smiling face of Jackie is a reflection of our desensitised age, an opaque yet nevertheless absorbing pietà. And strangely, it is in seeing the smiles before the tears, the calm before the storm, that Warhol, despite his usual coolness and distance, rams home to the viewer the sense of loss, the end of the era, the death of the hopes and ideals of only a few months earlier.
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