When Andy Warhol Comes to Town



Cows, Sitting Bull, Marilyn Monroe and Aspen itself are among Andy Warhol’s subjects in a pop-up show of the artist’s work at 212 Gallery.

Presented by Christie’s and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the annual show is now in its third year at 212. Along with iconic screenprints and early Warhol drawings, as in past years, the show offers a glimpse into Warhol’s time in Aspen. This year’s exhibition includes 18 photos that Warhol took here, all different from those previously shown at 212.

“The ones we brought last year, even if we didn’t sell them — and we sold most — we didn’t bring those back this year,” Amelia Manderscheid, a Christie’s specialist in post-war and contemporary art, said Saturday at the show’s opening reception.

The Aspen photos in the show include Warhol attempting to ski, a snowy and wreath-clad local lamppost, the Hotel Jerome (from its white-washed 1980s period) and the early 1980s apres-ski scene at The Little Nell. The Jerome photo may be familiar to Warhol fans, as it was included in the Aspen chapter of his 1985 book, “America.”

The photos — like all of the work in the Christie’s/Warhol Foundation shows — come from Warhol’s personal collection, for which he only printed one copy of each. The Foundation is not printing additional copies.

The show also includes a series of Warhol Polaroids that offer insight on his creative process. The artist used the instant photographs as studies for portraits after the company started sending him cameras to test out. Among his subjects included in the 212 show are a Cabbage Patch Kids doll, country singer Dolly Parton and himself in a selfie.

Also featured in a Polaroid study is Carbondale’s Kimiko Powers. Powers, with her husband John, was an influential art collector who first brought Warhol here in the mid-1960s.

Warhol stayed connected to Aspen for the rest of his life. He guest-edited an issue of the avant-garde art publication “Aspen: The Magazine in a Box” and visited frequently to ski in Snowmass. In his journals, he reported celebrating New Year’s Eve in 1981 at Andre’s disco, comparing it to the scene at Studio 54 in New York. In the 1970s, he purchased 40 acres of land in Missouri Heights, and in the early ’80s bought an Aspen home — both were sold to benefit the foundation after his death in 1987.

Warhol frequently photographed the local landscape — the photos in the 212 show include several wintry mountainscapes, snow-bent pines and rural scenes. In a 1981 interview with The Aspen Times, Warhol told the late Mary Eshbaugh Hayes, “Land is the best art.”

Along with the Aspen photos, the show includes 60 pieces — among them are pop-art sunsets, a Marilyn Monroe lithograph, a screenprint of Muhammad Ali’s fist and a lithograph of “I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever,” as well as mid-1950s drawings of shoes, legs and cherubs. The only piece in the show repeated from the past two years is a “Sitting Bull” screenprint, repeated because the foundation has multiple Warhol-made impressions of the piece.

“This year, we’re focusing on more pop-y images, as well as some nice fashion works (and) early commercial illustrative work,” Manderscheid said.

All sales from the local show will benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the grant-giving nonprofit with which Christie’s has partnered for a multi-year series of events selling work from Warhol’s personal collection.

Admission to the 212 show is free. Prices of the works range from $2,500 to $250,000.


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I Love Warhol

I Love Warhol