Andy Warhol's Marilyn makes headlines again as the highest work sold at Bonhams Prints & Multiples sale
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Andy Warhol's Marilyn makes headlines again as the highest work sold at Bonhams Prints & Multiples sale
Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) by Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Sold for $353,175. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- An Andy Warhol (1928-1987) print of one of the world's most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe, exceeds expectations at Bonhams Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples sale on May 12 in New York. In a private collection since it was purchased for a few hundred dollars in 1984, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn), sold for $353,175 breezing past its estimate of $200,000 – 250,000. The work centers an image of the actress that Warhol returned to many times in painting and print, but is made distinct by bright blond hair, ice green eyeshadow and red lips.

“Bringing a print of this caliber to auction was an exciting experience. This was the second highest price ever achieved for Marilyn 23, just a hair under the world record,” commented Deborah Ripley, Director of Bonhams Prints & Multiples in New York. “The combination of these two iconic figures – Warhol and Marilyn - with such outstanding staying power creates a truly special work and we are pleased that bidders identified that as well.”

Two works by Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) also had standout performances with both selling well beyond their estimates. An auction world record for the print and an important graphic work, Large Bright Blue, from Eight Color Etchings series sold for $189,375 (estimate: $100,000 – 150,000). Clubs and Spades (8 works), a motif that fascinated Diebenkorn, more than doubled its estimate of $60,000 – 80,000 when it sold for $123,225.

The sale was an overall success achieving $3,500,640.

Additional highlights include:

• Plate No. 1, from Growing Suite by Keith Haring (1958-1990), a print that showcases his distinct pop art style, sold for $107,475, an auction world record (estimate: $50,000 – 70,000).

• Another world auction record was achieved by Tribute 21 (22 works) by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) which sold for $101,175 (estimate: $40,000 – 60,000).

• An important work of the artist’s that addresses the complex issue of acid rain, After the Acid Rain (Day), 2010 by Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959) sold for $94,875 (estimate: $60,000 – 80,000.)

• Savoir c’est pouvoir (Knowledge is Power) by Barbara Kruger (b. 1945), an American conceptual artist who is famous for her provocative collages, sold for $48,255 (estimate: $25,000 - 30,000).

• Pontchartrain (quadriptych) by Robert Colescott (1925-2009), the first time this print was up for auction, sold for $40,695 (estimate: $35,000 – 45,000).

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