Christie's to auction 'largest-ever' Warhol portrait unseen since 1974

It looks like Christie's can't get enough of Andy Warhol at the moment. Following its $302,500 sale of a Warhol portrait peppered with bullets by Hollywood wild man Dennis Hopper, the auction house is already gearing up its next sale featuring the Pop Art master...

Christie's has announced its rediscovery of a "highly important, monumental-scale self-portrait by Andy Warhol (1928-1987)" executed in 1967 and part of an historically important series of 11 large-scale self portraits by the artist.

This picture has been in a private collection since the mid-1970s when it was acquired from Leo Castelli, Warhol's primary dealer. It will be offered at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Wednesday February 16 in London.

The piece is expected to realise between £3m-5m. Prior to the sale, it will be exhibited in public for the first time at Christie's New York from 22 to 26 January.

Of the other 10 portraits, five are in museums: the Tate, London; the Staatsgalerie Moderne Kunst, Munich; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and two at the Detroit Institute for Arts.

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Self-Portrait, 1967

In fact, so important were these portraits that eight of the known works were included in the artist's landmark retrospective at MOMA two years after his death in 1989. The present work is completely unpublished and has been in the same private collection since 1974.

"I'm incredibly excited at the prospect of offering this rediscovered masterpiece by Andy Warhol," said Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie's Europe.

"At the time of its execution Warhol was at the peak of his creative powers and this very rare series of works were the largest self-portraits he had made.

"This work shows a classic image of the artist in an imposing, larger than life scale, with an extraordinary presence of thick, red paint. That five of the works from this series are in museums is a testament to their importance."

Watch this space for more news on Christie's upcoming sale.


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