Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Monkey (Toy Painting) 1983
Lot 46*
Andy Warhol
(American, 1928-1987)
Monkey (Toy Painting)
1983
Sold for £76,900 (US$ 124,596) inc. premium

Lot Details
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Monkey (Toy Painting) 1983 Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Monkey (Toy Painting) 1983
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Monkey (Toy Painting)
1983

signed, dated 83 and with the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board stamp and number A120.0911 on the overlap
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas

35.5 by 28 cm.
14 by 11 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Galerie Bischofberger, Zurich
    Private Collection, Europe
    Galerie Pascal Lansberg, Paris
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2010


    In 1982 the gallerist and long-time friend of Andy Warhol's, Bruno Bischofberger, asked him to create a small series of works for children. Warhol's response was the Toy Paintings; a series of silkscreen ink canvases with acrylic additions whose subject matter took inspiration from his personal collection of childhood tin toys. First shown in the exhibition Paintings for Children at Bischofberger's Zurich gallery in 1983, the pieces were displayed against a Warhol designed wallpaper of silver fish swimming across a blue background, each canvas hung at the eye-level of a three to five year old child causing adult viewers to crouch or squat to examine them. Bischofberger even recalls charging an entrance fee to all those who attended the exhibition without being accompanied by a child under the age of six.

    The present work, Monkey, from 1983 here presented in a palette of a bold yellow, crimson red, turquoise green and white, is an excellent example of the child-like charm Warhol captured in these works. Warhol's subject matter for the Toy Paintings is the packaging of the toys, rather than the toys themselves, in this way reminiscent of his famous Brillo Box (Soap Pads) and Campbell's Soup Cans. This focus meant that the artist, as in the works mentioned above, also depicted the text from the toy's packaging. In the case of Monkey this is Cyrillic Russian script part of which reads simply 'toy mechanical', testimony to the honesty of his reproduction. The allusions to non-Western language that Warhol makes in Monkey, to both the toy and consumerism in Post-Modern societies, are shown as universals, rather than specific to his native America. Both German and Chinese are also represented as languages in the series, in Fips Mouse and Aeroplane respectively, reiterating this concept of universalisms. Perhaps the most interesting element of the works belonging to this series however is the personal relationship the subjects have to Warhol; these paintings remain innocent and almost emotive, and through ownership of the subjects, linked to his own history.
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