10 March 2017
Andy Warhol, 1928-1987
Self Portrait - and Nine Portraits of Fellow Artists. 1967.
Screenprint on coloured Perspex with black ink. Three-dimensional multiple comprising 100 perspex boxes screenprinted by the artist with a portrait (each box in one of ten colours). 1967.
Signed with scratched initials. Numbered (127) from the edition of 200 (plus 25 proofs). Issued for the collection 'Ten from Leo Castelli' to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Leo Castelli Gallery, 1967. Published by Tanglewood Press Inc., New York 1967.
Ref: Feldman and Schellmann - Andy Warhol prints No.17
The artists portrayed include:
Warhol - Self Portrait (Extreme right image)
Also from left to right
Printed on coloured perspex. Extremely fine example in exceptionally fine un-scratched condition. Each box size: 51x51mm. Overall size: 510x510mm. The set of the boxes contained in an overall perspex boxframe and set into a special back-lit light box.
(Note: It is extremely rare to find an example of this work in absolutely fresh unscratched condition as in most cases the individual Perspex boxes were miss-handled and became damaged). The portraits are from photographs taken by Warhol before the 1967 exhibition.
In this extremely imaginative and very significant 1967 work Warhol acknowledged his place amongst the whole circle of avant-garde New York artists, both ‘Pop’ and abstract, who were centered on Leo Castelli’s ground-breaking gallery.
Warhol’s interest in printmaking first developed during the 1950’s, when, encouraged by his mother and his own interest in fashion, and in particular shoes, he drew commercial images using off-set lithography. At the end of the decade, as his career as a commercial artist was put aside in order to focus on ‘fine art’, the use of printmaking techniques, of widely differing types became a major feature of his work. He became fascinated by the inter-action of hand-worked image-making and combinations of commercial techniques such as photostatic enlarging or reduction. In the forefront of his inspiration was the insistence on a modern figurative imagery which reflected the visual qualities of, for example, advertising. From this was grew the concept that became known as ‘Pop Art’.
At the time that Warhol was invited by Castelli to show in his 1967 exhibition showcasing the new generation of artists, Warhol was constantly looking for new ways of image making. Experiments with surfaces like perspex led him to ideas of luminosity. Looking for a way to mark his inclusion in the show he hit on the idea of a series of photos of his fellow artists in the exhibition, reduced in format then screened onto a series of small Perspex cubes, the varying colours of which both altered the appearance of the image but also created a linking visual pattern. By stacking the cubes and holding them within a frame he could also use light from behind to create a form of internal illumination.
At the time of the exhibition the source of light was just the general illumination of the room. The use of a modern lightbox, as here, allows this quality of internal illumination even when the work is displayed against a wall.
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