A private collection of works inspired by US dollar to be offered at Sotheby's London
June 16, 2015: Sotheby's London is offering a museum-quality private collection exploring how the iconic dollar ($) motif has provided such a rich source of inspiration for contemporary artists over the last 60 years. At the heart of the collection lies the most important group of Andy Warhol “dollar” paintings in private hands: era-defining masterpieces, led by the artist’s very first painting in the series: One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate), 1962. Estimated at £13-18m, this is the only one of Warhol’s dollars to have been painted entirely by hand.
“The collection of Warhols was put together with a unique focus and vision over 30 years, building a group of masterpieces that would be impossible to assemble today,” said Cheyenne Westphal, Co-Head, Contemporary Art Worldwide.
All 21 works in the collection, together estimated at £41-57m, take the American dollar as their subject. As with his soup cans and Marilyns, Warhol’s dollars have become icons. Today, they are more relevant than ever before, prophesising the cultural power of the US dollar and the elevated status of art as a commodity in its own right. Warhol’s visionary paintings feature alongside key examples by artists including Keith Haring, Joseph Beuys and Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Exhibited publicly for the first time, these works examine the huge cultural influence of the US dollar and confront a debate that has occupied artists and critics for generations: the relationship between art and money.
The collection will be offered as part of Sotheby’s contemporary evening and day sales on July 1 and 2, 2015.