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Andy Warhol, Philip Johnson, 1972

Andy Warhol
Philip Johnson, 1972
Acrylic and silkscreen inks on canvas
Nine panels, H 32” x W 32”; H 96” x W 96”

Andy Warhol, a successful commercial illustrator in the 1950s, began to paint images derived from the comic strips and advertisements in 1960. By 1962, he was a leading Pop artist who used the silkscreen process to transfer photographic images derived from the mass media and popular culture to canvas. Philip Johnson and David Whitney were among his most important supporters. Johnson donated several major paintings, among them the iconic Gold Marilyn Monroe of 1962, as gifts to the Museum of Modern Art. Johnson frequently commissioned Warhol to create works for buildings he designed, the most famous example being Thirteen Most Wanted Men intended for the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair. Due to Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s objections to its content, Warhol had it covered with silver paint. David Whitney organized the exhibition Andy Warhol: Portraits of the 70s, in 1979 for the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The single major Warhol remaining in the Painting Gallery is a portrait of Philip Johnson from 1972. This painting, which repeats the same pensive image of the architect nine times in a grid format, is rendered in a subdued, earth-tone palette.

• Exhibited in inaugural exhibition Johns, Stella, Warhol: Works in Series, organized by David Whitney at the Art Museum of South Texas, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi in 1972
• Gift of David Whitney to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1998
• Conserved in-situ by Luca Bonetti, 2009
• Published in Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 3: Paintings and Sculptures 1970–1974, edited by Neil Printz and Executive Editor Sally King-Nero, Andy Warhol Foundation by Phaidon Press, 2010

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