ANDY WARHOL "OUTDOOR BENCH" GELATIN SILVER PRINT, 1976-86
Andy Warhol is arguably the most important American artist of the 20th century. He not only helped define Pop Art but had a lasting effect on artists, image-making, and the power of celebrity in both fine art and popular culture in general.
For the legendary Pop artist whose career is arguably best known for portraits of glamorous icons, the black and white gelatin silver prints from his later years come as a stark contrast to the opulent social scenes depicted throughout his earlier work. Often portraying solitude and mundanity, these photographs epitomize the simplicity of everyday happenings.
Featuring four identical photographs stitched together to form a grid, this work is an elegant example of Warhol's use of repetition, an iconic and distinctive device present throughout his oeuvre.
The close-cropped image captures an empty outdoor bench, its bright surface reflects in the sun and casts a dark shadow onto what appears to be a field of grass. Other than these details, there are few clues to reveal its ambiguous location.
This black and white photograph (along with the others shot between 1976-1986) feels strangely intimate, offering a rare glimpse into the daily life of Andy Warhol and the ordinary occurrences that struck his interest. It's a rather humanizing perspective for a figure whose larger-than-life persona can feel out of reach at the best of times.
However, this wouldn't be the first time commonplace objects caught his attention (see: soup cans of the 60s). In typical Warhol fashion (and coming full circle), It could just be that this photograph was intended to be as subversive as the images that brought him to fame at the beginning of his career.
In 1987, Warhol held his sole photography show at Robert Miller Gallery in New York. It was his intention to make photography part of his core practice before his untimely death just six weeks after the exhibition.
As the Warhol market continues to gallop to a stratosphere beyond, there are fewer and fewer examples of unique, pivotal works in circulation.
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Four gelatin silver prints stitched with thread
27.5"H 21.25"W (work)
36.5"H 30.5"W (framed)
Very good condition
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