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Dollar Sign
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Dollar Sign
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Dollar Sign

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About the item

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)\nDollar Sign\nwith the Estate of Andy Warhol stamp, three times, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts stamp, twice and numbered twice 'PA30.97' (on the overlap)\nsynthetic polymer paint and silkscreen inks on canvas\n90 7/8 x 70 1/8in. (229 x 178cm.)\nExecuted in 1981-82
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notes

The dollar sign is almost certainly more recognisable, throughout the world, than even Coca Cola or Jesus. It is one of the most successful and endemic logos or symbols of our age, and many previous ages. It was therefore a logical subject for Warhol to portray. The big, brash Dollar Sign celebrates a symbol that is so Pop we take it for granted.

As with all Warhol's works, there is a strange ambivalence about this image. Is it a celebration of the dollar, of American economic might, of a successful logo or even of Warhol's own wealth and success? Or is it an indictment? Is Warhol ironically illustrating the value of his own works by emblazoning them with a dollar sign, or is he criticising the mechanics of the art market? Certainly Warhol commented that, 'I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you, the first thing they would see is the money on the wall' (A. Warhol, quoted in D. Bourdon, Warhol, New York 1995, p. 384).

The sense of rebellion and indictment in Dollar Sign is increased by its lively colours. Warhol has taken the solid symbol of American money and has filled it with a lively Pop aesthetic. These are the loud colours of the Disco age. There is a free-style feel to the draughtsmanship of the source image, which was indeed a drawing of Warhol's own, designed to mimic the jazzy, slanting typography of advertising. This artistic treatment appears as an insolent assault on the dignity of the dollar itself. At the same time, like several of his series during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dollar Sign shows Warhol revisiting the territories and themes of his earlier works, for instance the trailblazing Dollar Bill pictures of the early 1960s, works which challenged the viewer's preconceptions of art and authenticity. Ultimately, as with so many of his most successful works, Dollar Sign remains inscrutable and Sphinx-like, allowing us to chew over its riddle and to wonder whether Warhol was as ingenuous and superficial as he liked people to believe...

title

Dollar Sign

medium

Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen inks on canvas

creator

Andy Warhol

department

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART

dimensions

90 7/8 x 70 1/8in. (229 x 178cm.)

provenance

The Estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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