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Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills)
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Andy Warhol, Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills)\nSigned and dated 62 on the reverse\nPencil, felt tip marker and graphite on paper\n39 7/8 x 30 in. 101.3 x 76.2 cm.
US
NY, US
US

notes

Warhol revolutionized American art in the early 1960s, and 1962 was the most pivotal year in his entire oeuvre. Throughout that year, Warhol created a wide range of new stylistic aesthetics and art processes, culminating in his ground-breaking use of the silkscreen technique. Yet with works such as Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills), also from 1962, Warhol proclaimed his continuing love of drawing.

Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills) is a spectacular example of one of Warhol's earliest and most iconic drawings, similar to another work in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Throughout his life, Warhol expressed himself freely in drawing, and even after he became known for his silkscreen technique of mechanically producing paintings, Warhol would sneak into his 'Factory' studio to draw on Sunday or late at night when it was relatively empty.  Warhol's innate talent for drawing is abundantly apparent in the present work, as well as his genius for infusing mundane subject matter with subtly deep meaning. As a subject, dollar bills would launch the artist into his famed silkscreen works later that same year. Fittingly, Warhol's dollar paintings and drawings are about desire, and it amused him that his art possessed powers similar to money, stimulating desire and imagination simultaneously.

As one of his early `Pop' works, Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills) is a larger-than-life roll of money that directly confronts the viewer as it consumes the picture plane. Throughout his career, the dollar bill provided Warhol with a potent reference point for his examination of contemporary American consumer culture, acting as a recurring leitmotif with which to chart the changing times. As he explained, ``Americans are not so interested in selling. What they really like to do is buy''. (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to Z and Back Again, New York, 1975, p. 229). In this context, Warhol's dollar paintings and drawings are as much about desire as his iconic celebrity portraits.  Within a society immersed in the pursuit of wealth, Warhol's art would become a commodity acquisition that conferred status on its collector. As Warhol commented, "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." (Ibid., pp. 133-134).

In the present work, Warhol's ``still-life'' centered on a rather common roll of money, presenting a brand of 'Pop' culture reality that dared to challenge the grand history of `High art' still life painting as practiced by generations from Dutch masters and Caravaggio to 20th century masters such as Henri Matisse. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp, the champion of found objects in Modern art, Warhol's new `Pop' approach was parallel to the use of consumer objects in the works of contemporaries such as Jasper Johns, whose Light Bulb drawing from 1958 Warhol had acquired from Leo Castelli just one year before he completed Untitled (Roll of Dollar Bills). While each artist was striving toward different conceptual ends, their means had the same starting point in objects from everyday life.

medium

Pencil, felt tip marker and graphite on paper

creator

Andy Warhol

dimensions

39 7/8 x 30 in. 101.3 x 76.2 cm.

provenance

Myron Orlofsky, New York

Acquired directly from the above


*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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