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Andy Warhol@Christie's: 'American Pastimes: Sports & Politics' online-only sale announced
Andy Warhol, Mao (F. & S. II.125A). Screenprint in colors on wallpaper, 38 7/8 x 29 3/8 in. (98.7 x 74.6 cm.) Executed in 1974. Estimate: $20,000-30,000.
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced Andy Warhol @ Christie’s: American Pastimes: Sports & Politics, an online-only sale that gives collectors a glimpse into Warhol’s relationships throughout his career with many leading sports and political figures. This sale features his iconic images from all 10 athletes in the athletes’ portfolio as well as many works he created to support politicians’ campaigns he believed in including Jimmy Carter, JFK, and Carter Burden. Highlights of the online sale include the iconic red Lenin print, Mao wallpaper, and a print impression of Muhammad Ali’s fist.

POLITICS
During President Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China in 1972, the image of the Chinese dictator Mao Zedong was replayed throughout the United States in resulting news coverage. In response to this coverage, Warhol created a series of paintings, drawings, and prints of the half-smiling leader. Warhol’s Mao wallpaper (estimate: $20,000-30,000) echoed how the image of the Chinese leader was being shown constantly as political propaganda.

After the political debacle of Watergate and Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency, the Democratic National Committee had an opportunity to take back the Presidency in the 1976 elections. In an effort to connect their candidate, Jimmy Carter, with younger voters and widen the net of supportive votes, they commissioned Andy Warhol, a cultural icon even at that time, to create a portrait of him. The initial portrait was a pensive poised candidate, entitled Jimmy Carter I. A second portrait was created after the election, depicting a jubilant president-elect; this impression, Jimmy Carter II (estimate: $5,000-$7,000), is featured in this sale. Other more intimate photographs of the Carter family featuring Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter, their daughter, Amy, and Jimmy’s mother, Lillian, are featured in this sale.

Polaroids, prints, and works on paper depicting other political figures such as Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Ted Kennedy, Joseph Kennedy III, as well as the menacing Red Lenin (estimate: $60,000-80,000) and black Lenin prints ($50,000-70,000) will be offered online.

SPORTS
In 1977, Richard Weisman, an art collector and a friend of Warhol's, commissioned a series of paintings of ten great sports figures of the era, now known as the "Athlete Series." The group of athletes was selected by Mr. Weisman, and included stars from a variety of sports: Muhammad Ali (boxing), Pelé (soccer), Dorothy Hamill (figure skating), Tom Seaver (baseball), Jack Nicklaus (golf), O.J. Simpson (football), Chris Evert (tennis), Willie Shoemaker (horse racing), Rod Gilbert (ice hockey), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball).

Several additional sports portraits taken later are also included in the sale – Ron Duguay, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe (with then-wife Tatum O’Neal), Franz Beckenbauer, and Vitas Gerulaitis.

“On the heels of the successful Andy’s World sale, Christie’s is delighted to offer American Pastimes: Sports & Politics as the next online-only sale of 2014 in partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,” said Amelia Manderscheid, Head of eCommerce for Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s. “This sale presents Warhol’s relationships with many leading sports and political figures throughout his career. This sale features his iconic images from all 10 athletes in the athletes’ portfolio as well as many works he created to support politicians’ campaigns he believed in.”

The sale opens for bidding on Thursday, September 4 and will remain open for competitive bids through Thursday, September 11. All browsing and bidding is done online, with the click of a mouse or tap of a finger.

Andy Warhol is widely recognized as one of the defining figures of 20th Century art and culture, as well as a philanthropist of extraordinary generosity. As an artist, he unabashedly embraced the populist and the commercial. As a philanthropist, he ensured that his giving would extend past his death by establishing The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which received almost the entirety of his estate. Proceeds from this sale and all subsequent sales under the partnership benefit The Warhol Foundation’s grant-making programs in support of artists and non-profit arts organizations.





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