Andy Warhol (1928-1987) John Lennon stamped through the Estate of Andy Warhol stamp (on the overlap); numbered "PO50.036" (on the stretcher)fabricated polymer and silkdisplay inks on canvas 40 1/8 x 40 1/8 in. (101.9 x 101.9 cm.) Painted in 1985-1986.


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Estate of the ArtistAnthony d"Offay Gallery, LondonPrivate arsenal, TaosDeitch Projects, New YorkAcquired from the above by the previous owner
London, Anthony d"Offay Gallery and also Sydney, Museum of Conshort-lived Art, Andy Warhol: Portraits of the Seventies and Eighties, November 1993-May 1994, p. 157, no. 48 (depicted in color).
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This striking red portrait of John Lennon was developed by Andy Warhol in late 1985, as part of a task to note the release of Lennon"s posthumous album Menlove Ave., a selection of previously unreleased product from the ex-Beatles" Rock "n" Roll sessions tape-recorded through legendary music producer Phil Spector. Uncommonly, Warhol made a decision not to use among his own photographs of Lennon but instead made a decision to usage an image of Lennon taken in 1971 by Iain Macmillan, the guy who is probably most famous for his iconic photograph of the Beatles on a pedestrian crossing close to the Abbey Road studios in London, was which featured on the cover of their iconic 1969 album of the very same name.From the surface of this vibrant red canvas, an evocative picture of Lennon stares out directly at the viewer, engaging them in a hypnotically beguiling gaze. Lennon"s flawmuch less attributes are framed by his slightly unkempt, tussled hair and also circular, government-issued National Health Service glasses. This modest rendition is much rerelocated from the celebrity standing of among the world"s many famous rock stars, and this charismatic rendition lets Lennon"s significant cinjury shine with. Warhol"s paint allows some of Lennon"s charisma take center stage in the neon-colored highlights that reflect off the surconfront of his hair. Warhol began to introduce these "neon-highlights" into his occupational beginning in the 1980s, a action on from the painterly highlights that he added directly onto the surchallenge via his fingers that started to make an appearance in this paints from the mid-1970s onwards. In John Lennon (Red), they serve to aid structure the subjects confront as well as including depth to what, for Warhol at least, had actually often been a level create of art.It remained in June 1971 that John and also Yoko first explored New York together, meeting many type of friends and also artists living there who would certainly display them about their favorite components of the city. Bob Dylan even convinced John and Yoko to buy bicycles, telling them that it was the ideal means to acquire approximately the Village, and also Warhol invested much time escorting the renowned couple around his favorite antique shops and also art galleries. The warmth of their welcome to the city had a lasting effect on Lennon, persuading him to settle tright here in October 1971 while telling the British press, "In the States we"re treated choose artists, which we are! But here in Britain, it"s favor 1940...it"s really the sticks, you know. While in New York there"s these great twenty or thirty artists that all understand what I"m doing and have the exact same kind of mind as me. It"s just like heaven after being here" (J. Lennon, quoted in R. Coleman, Lennon: the Definitive Biography, London, 2000, p. 583).Warhol, Lennon, and Ono came to be friends and also were frequently spotted at assorted social occasions roughly the city. Warhol was especially influenced by the events of December 8, 1980 as soon as Lennon was eliminated by Mark Chapman exterior his apartment in the Dakota structure. Warhol was attfinishing a advantage for the Costume Institute when news of the shooting broke. He taped the events of the night in his diaries, noting "Someone came in and also sassist John Lennon was swarm and also noone might think it, so someone dubbed the Daily News, and also they shelp it was true. It was scary; it was all anyone could talk about." Two days later he created, "The one who eliminated him was a frustrated artist. They carried up the Dalí poster he had on his wall. They constantly interview the janitors and the old schoolteachers and things. The child shelp the evil one made him carry out it. And John was so well-off, they say he left a $235 million estate. And the "vigil" is still going on at the Dakota. It looked strange, I don"t recognize what those human being think they"re doing" (A. Warhol, diary entry, December 10, 1980, Pat Hackett, (ed.) The Andy Warhol Diaries, New York 1989, pp. 347-348).It was partly in the shadow of Lennon"s death that, in late 1985, Warhol was asked to produce a portrait of John Lennon for the cover of the then forthcoming Lennon album, Menlove Ave. This was a posthumous album released under the supervision of Lennon"s widow Yoko, the title of the album referring to the name of the street in Liverpool where Lennon had actually grvery own up. Warhol produced two paints of Lennon that were offered for the front and also ago covers of this album. These two paints are now owned by Yoko, yet at the same time Warhol additionally created this 40 x 40 inch portrait of Lennon in the style of some of his current iconic portraits, such as those of Lenin.In paint this portrait of Lennon, Warhol evidently knew he was making more than a mere society portrait of a celebrity but showing an iconic number whose legendary status had actually newly been magnified by his untimely fatality. It was probably therefore that Warhol did not use a more intimate or individual photograph of Lennon, but Macmillan"s iconic and someexactly how immediately familiar image--a picture that appeared to convey both the essence and legend of Lennon.