Vente: 545 / Evening Sale 08 décembre 2023 à Munich Lot 71

 

71
Andy Warhol
Friedrich II, 1986.
Silkscreen in colors. Synthetic polymer on canvas
Estimation:
€ 500,000 / $ 525,000
Résultat:
€ 889,000 / $ 933,450

( frais d'adjudication compris)
Friedrich II. 1986.
Silkscreen in colors. Synthetic polymer on canvas.
Signed and dated on the reverse. 214 x 183 cm (84.2 x 72 in).

• Unique work on canvas in an unusual format.
• Another copy of this large-size color silkscreen on canvas is in the Museum Würth, Künzelsau.
• Created a year before the artist's unexpected death.
• Iconic motif: from an icon of German painting he created an icon of pop art in a mega format
.

PROVENANCE: Galerie Michael Haas
Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf
Onnasch Collection(1987)
Private collection Southern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen (permanent loan) with a label on the reverse.
Originale echt falsch, Neues Museum Weserburg July 25 - October 24, 1999, color illu. p. 160
Celebrities. Andy Warhol und die Stars. Sammlung Marx und Leihgaben. Hamburger Bahnhof. October 3, 2008 - January 11, 2009, p. 47.

"You see, to pretend something's real, I'd have to fake it. Then people would
think I'm doing it real."
Andy Warhol, in: Martin Schwander (ed.), Andy Warhol Paintings 1960-1986, p. 31

Germany was of particular importance to Andy Warhol in many regards: In 1967, Rudolf Zwirner organized the artist's first solo exhibition in Germany at his Cologne gallery, familiarizing the country with Pop Art and promoting the young art movement that was so closely linked to an American imagery to important private collections. It would be an exaggeration to claim that the recognition Warhol received through this very exhibition paved the way for his transatlantic triumph. In fact, people in Germany in the 1960s were able to perceive the radical artistic meaning of the appropriation of American advertising and media images different and earlier, because they had not been confronted with these images on a daily basis from their childhood on.

"Frederick II" (1986) is an exceptionally large portrait on canvas, it is closely related to the artist's oeuvre and occupies a key position among Warhol's iconic images of famous people. Certainly, there are works that German collectors commissioned Warhol in New York to make for them, however, when it comes to portraying historical figures, Warhol chose the figure himself. Accordingly, there are just a few motifs that compare with "Frederick II". The head of “Goethe”, which Warhol extracted from Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein’s painting “Goethe in der Römischen Campagna” (1787) is a suitable example. He wasn't interested in the historical context, but puts his Goethe on an equal footing with film stars, queens, pop idols and criminals. Warhol painted the myth that would forever obstruct the view of assumed facts.

Warhol found the image of Frederick the Great in a painting by Anton Graff. The template itself already is a copy and is now kept at Sanssouci Palace. The portrait of the Prussian king is one of the most famous depictions of him and yet no one knows for sure whether Frederick II actually looked like that. He didn't like to pose as model, and even then it was clear that pictures fulfilled purposes. They do not aim to depict reality as close and authentic as possible. Images create myths that then become reality. Warhol was occupied with this idea throughout his life.

What fascinated Warhol about the figure of Frederick II in 1986? The 200th anniversary of his death night have been the reason, but this alone is certainly not reason enough. The ruler is considered a modern spirit of the Enlightenment of the mid-18th century. It was not just the violence that he himself had to endure from his father that led to the abolition of torture as one of his first reforms. Warhol was aware of how progressive and radical this step was at the time, and 200 years later he still decried brutal and inhumane punishments in the USA in the series "Electric Chair" (1964). Frederick II is also said to have lived out his homosexuality more or less openly, just like his brother Henry of Prussia. The meaning of sexuality in the 18th century and the associated social prohibitions and conventions cannot be transferred to the 20th century and yet, the Prussian king unintentionally became an icon of the self-confident expression of one's own sexuality. "Let every man seek heaven in his own fashion", was the most famous quote by the Old Fritz that is still used today when it comes to demanding more tolerance. [SN]



71
Andy Warhol
Friedrich II, 1986.
Silkscreen in colors. Synthetic polymer on canvas
Estimation:
€ 500,000 / $ 525,000
Résultat:
€ 889,000 / $ 933,450

( frais d'adjudication compris)