ANDY WARHOL "ABSOLUT VODKA" OFFSET LITHOGRAPH, 1985
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is arguably the most important American artist of the 20th century. He not only defined Pop Art but had an unrivaled influence on artists and image-making. Throughout his career, Warhol was infatuated with branding and celebrity, from movie stars to Campbell's soup cans. Warhol's first campaign for an alcohol brand occurred in 1957 and then resumed working for popular beverages and other spirits in the early 1980's
Created in 1985, “Absolut Vodka” is a late example of the artist’s career-long fascination and engagement with advertising and iconography. This artwork commemorates one of Warhol's most iconic brand collaborations, a partnership that eventually inspired the Absolut Art Collection. The campaign would go on to commission over 350 artworks by artists such as Keith Haring, Ed Ruscha, and Annie Leibovitz.
It is worth mentioning that Warhol's Absolut commission was offered after the success of his first project for Carillon Importers; an advertising campaign for their liqueur La Grande Passion.
Executed in a palette of deep midnight and cobalt, and accented with bursts of coral, sky blue, and cream, Warhol captures a tightly framed close-up of the Absolut bottle. Elevated with commanding confidence, the bottle dominates the composition from an upward vantage point, as if peering over the viewer with its logo front and center. Warhol surprised and delighted the executives at Absolut with this simple, impactful, and clever "portrait". By realizing the glass bottle in black, he circumvented the challenges of realizing something that was normally clear and reflective. This choice enabled their simple font to boldly pop.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that this is the first iteration of the print that is distinguishable for having the artist's signature in the upper right hand corner.
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Signed in the plate
41.5”H 34”W (work)
Detailed condition report by request. Colors slightly attenuated. Minor surface abrasions.
Provenance: The piece comes from the collection of Paul Maréchal, the author of the catalogue raisonné, "Andy Warhol The Complete Commissioned Posters 1964-1987".
Literature: Andy Warhol The Complete Commissioned Posters 1964-1987 p. 120-124.
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