100: RICHARD AVEDON, Andy Warhol, artist, New York City
Andy Warhol, artist, New York City, 8-20, 1969. Gelatin silver print, printed 1975. 9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (25.1 x 20 cm) Signed and numbered 37/50 in ink, copyright credit, reproduction limitation, edition, title and date stamps on the verso.
PROVENANCE Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
LITERATURE Harry N. Abrams, Richard Avedon: Portraits, n.p. Random House, Avedon: The Sixties, p. 32 for a variant Random House, Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944-1994, p. 150
This portrait of Andy Warhol was taken in 1969, the same year as Richard Avedon's Andy Warhol and the Factory (lot 101). In keeping with Avedon's mastery in creating a portrait that captures the spirit of the subject while eschewing the usual network of clichés, the current portrait presents Warhol in an unprecedented way. In 1968, Warhol was shot in the stomach by Valerie Solanas, a brief Factory member, in an apparent homicide effort. In the current portrait, Avedon chose to portray Warhol's vulnerability and mortality, as opposed to the megastar artist and Pop Culture icon for which he was gaining widespread recognition. By doing so, Avedon successfully created a rare and personal angle of Warhol that strips him of his untouchable aura, presenting a portrait that is intimate and deeply humane.