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Phillips announces 'Andy Warhol's Lenin' works from the archive of Galerie Klüser
Andy Warhol, Lenin, 1986. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 183 x 122 cm. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips announced Andy Warhol’s Lenin, a selling exhibition that brings together original works on canvas, collages and works on paper from the Archive of Galerie Klüser. As Andy Warhol’s publisher and gallerist, Galerie Klüser has been at the forefront of the global art scene and the collection represents a historical artefact of the American pop artist’s relationship to portraiture. Bernd Klüser was instrumental in exposing Warhol to Lenin’s image at a later stage in the artist’s career. As this series of nine works demonstrates, Bernd Klüser encouraged Warhol to experiment through different media to develop the portrait image. The exhibition opens to the public from 26 September to 4 October 2019, and highlights will be on display in Phillips’ Berkeley Square galleries during the September Editions auction preview from 5 to 12 September.

Warhol’s last series of pictures before he died took Lenin as its subject. Bernd Klüser’s collaboration with the artist concerning this subject started in the spring of 1986, when he showed Warhol an unusual photograph of Lenin. The photograph portrayed Lenin as a self-assured, forceful young man; a pile of book indicating his occupation as an intellectual and political theorist.

Bernd Klüser recalls, “We had already been planning for two years to cooperate on a project which was to strike out in a new direction: instead of reproducing the stereotyped icons of everyday life in America, Warhol would be confronted with an image which went against the grain of his usual preoccupations. By virtue of both its content and its formal quality, the photograph of Lenin seemed ideal for this purpose.”

Warhol understood the defining myths of his generation and how reproduced images served to both reflect and shape contemporary life. By appropriating the silkscreen as a fine art medium, Warhol forever altered printmaking in the late twentieth century. Andy Warhol’s Lenin comprises eight prints and silkscreens, and one work on canvas from this series.

Anne Schneider-Wilson, Senior Specialist, Editions, said, “We are very proud to host this exceptional group of works from Galerie Klüser. From Warhol’s portrait series of Joseph Beuys in 1980, to his Lenin, some of Warhol’s most significant works emerged from this fruitful collaboration between the artist and Galerie Klüser. This series of works truly captures the depth of Warhol’s exploration of different media and experimental working practice.”

Across four decades, Galerie Klüser has been a leading force in the world of printmaking, since the founding of “Editions Schellmann & Klüser” in 1970—which first focused on Joseph Beuys’ printed graphic artworks—to the creation of Galerie Klüser in 1978.

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