Andy Warhol’s 1962 “Statue of Liberty” could fetch more than $35 million when it’s auctioned on Nov. 14 at Christie’s in New York.
The statue is depicted 24 times, in four rows of six images. Silkscreened in red over green ink on white background, the work has a three-dimensional effect.
“If you put on 3-D glasses, it becomes a grainy, black and white 3-D photograph,” said Brett Gorvy, chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s. “We’ll be giving 3-D glasses with our catalogs.”
Two other examples of Warhol’s 1962 experimentations with 3-D are “Optical Car Crash,” which is in the collection of the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, and another “Statue of Liberty” from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
“In the 1960s, 3-D was known from the horror movies,” Gorvy said. “Warhol actually made a 3-D movie in the 1970s. It was about Frankenstein.”
The choice of colors is connected to works in Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series, which often are in strong greens or strong reds. A painting from the series, “Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I),” (1963) sold for $71.7 million in 2007 and remains Warhol’s auction record.
“Statue of Liberty” had belonged to German entrepreneur Erich Marx, whose art collection became the core of the Hamburger Bahnhof contemporary-art museum in Berlin. The work was later acquired by the Daros Collection in Zurich, which sold it privately in the past decade to the current consignor, according to Gorvy.
“Statue of Liberty” will appear in the same sale as Warhol’s 1966 portrait of leather-clad Marlon Brando on a motorcycle, expected to bring about $20 million. Titled “Marlon,” the work comes from the collection of Donald L. Bryant, who bought it for $5 million at Christie’s in 2003.
So far, the highest estimate of the November auctions in New York belongs to Rothko’s 1954 “No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue),” valued between $35 million and $50 million. It will be offered at Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art on Nov. 13.
Muse highlights include Rich Jaroslovsky on technology, Manuela Hoelterhoff on the arts.