Christie’s is offering what is potentially poised to become the most expensive 20th century artwork ever sold at auction.
With a pre-sale estimate of $200 million USD (with the possibility of a sale of $250 million), Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is described as among the most iconic paintings in history and is an unmatched example of 20th century art by one of the most important American artists, Andy Warhol.
The work is described as: Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen on ink on linen. 40 x 40 in (101.6 x 101.6 cm).
“The work comes to Christie’s from the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich; all proceeds of the sale will benefit the foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children the world over by establishing support systems centered on providing healthcare and educational programs. With one hundred percent of proceeds going to charity, the sale of this single painting will constitute the highest grossing philanthropic auction since The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller in 2018.”
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is a definitive work within Warhol’s oeuvre, contemporary art, and the entire art historical canon. Warhol first began creating silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe following her death in August 1962. He would create reproductions of her visage multiple times in bright colors, often with the features somewhat askew. In 1964, he developed a more refined and time-intensive screen printing technique, antithetical to the mass production he was best known for, and created a limited number of portraits of the Hollywood legend. This technique was so difficult in fact, that he never returned to it again and yet the image remains burned in the visual lexicon of art history.”
Paul Fraser at Paul Fraser Collectibles had this to say about the upcoming auction:
“When a painting this iconic goes up for sale, it shows Christie’s has confidence in the market. if it achieves estimate, Warhol’s painting will become the most valuable 20th century artwork ever sold at auction. That record has stood since 2015, when Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)’ sold for $179.4 million. It would also completely smash the current record for a Warhol work at auction, which has stood at $105 million for almost a decade.”