Overview

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Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Jackie

Details
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Jackie
signed and dated 'Andy Warhol 64' (on the overlap)
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
20½ x 16 in. (52.1 x 40.6 cm.)
Painted in 1964.
Provenance
Private collection, Milan
Anon. sale; Christie's London, 28 June 1978, lot 238
Private collection, Knokke
Jan Dewilde, Oudenaarde
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
G. Frei and N. Printz, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Sculptures, 1964-1969, vol. 2A, New York, 2004, pp. 165 and 172, no. 1024 (illustrated in color).
Exhibited
Oudenaarde, Stadhuis, American Pop Art, November 1980.
Special Notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. Where Christie's has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie's therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. The third party will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk based on a fixed fee if the third party is the successful bidder or on the final hammer price in the event that the third party is not the successful bidder. The third party may also bid for the lot above the written bid. Where it does so, and is the successful bidder, the fixed fee for taking on the guarantee risk may be netted against the final purchase price.

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Brought to you by

Robert Manley
Robert Manley

Lot Essay

Jacqueline Kennedy's smiling face shines out from the surface of Andy Warhol's Jackie, embodying "Camelot", the dream of a new American renaissance that accompanied John F. Kennedy's election as the 35th President of the United States. Warhol based this painting on a press photograph of the First Lady, taken just hours before an assassin's bullet shattered the dream. The First Lady appears relaxed and glamorous in this intimate portrait with her pillbox hat and fur-collared coat. Marking out this screen's rare quality, we can clearly see the President over her right shoulder, smiling enthusiastically, blissfully unaware of the impending tragedy. Warhol seized upon this image, one of many of Jackie that saturated the media for days and days after the president's death. The media process fascinated Warhol, as did the ensuing frenzy and demand for national and international grief. He took this image and, with his unrivalled ability to capture the contemporary zeitgeist, turned it into an icon of an American heroine.
This particular canvas is among the most exceptional images of Jackie that Warhol ever produced. We can see the detail and quality of the transfer throughout the work's entire surface. Warhol scoured newspapers and magazines for portraits of the First Lady and eventually selected eight, which he then cropped to produce his desired aesthetic. He then ordered a screen to be made for each image, enlarging them to a finished size of 20 x 16 inches. Warhol then prepared a roll of primed linen, applied with phthalo blue acrylic, and printed each impression by hand. We can clearly see the President's face, his beaming smile and other features crisply defined, but only in a very few screens from this series, including this one. The screen's outstanding quality even allows us to discern the stripes of his shirt across his chest. The screen's rich quality combines with the transfer's strong tonal contrasts and overall consistency to produce an image of exceptional quality and power, paying fitting tribute to the strength and dignity of both the President and the woman he left behind.
The specter of glamour, tragedy and celebrity combine to make this painting one of Warhol's best, in a league with his other iconographic portraits of women such as Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor. This seminal work remains a masterpiece of Warhol's infatuation with the media and the cult of celebrity. With Jackie, Warhol adapted the formula he had already tested on Campbell's Soup and Coca-Cola for use on a celebrity, but in this case one whose image had unprecedented emotional strength. The president's glamorous widow had the intense sympathies of millions, and the death of her husband only enshrined her role as a cultural symbol. After John F. Kennedy's death, Jackie symbolized hope and sympathy for an entire nation, and while Jackie reminds us of his earlier works, it also creates a complex fusion between emotion and image, between Pop and popularity. Standing on the brink of his "Death and Disaster" series, Warhol's portrait of Jackie encapsulates celebrity's pervasive glare in the midst of personal tragedy.

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