Andy Warhol, Skull, 1976-1977. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 38.5 x 48 cm (15.2 x 18.9 in.). Signed Andy Warhol (on the overlap). Price $750k-1M. Courtesy VAN DE WEGHE at TEFAF Maastrich 2023
Provenance: Attilo Codognato, Venice
Private collection, Milan (1987)
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, London, October 12, 2007, lot 47
Christie's, New York, November 11, 2010, lot 215
Private collection, Belgium.
Warhol’s "Skull" (1976-77) came near the end of his life’s work, following his near death experience in 1968. As arguably the most iconic artist of the 20th century he used the skull motif to not only mold his work closer to personal sentiments, but also to place himself within the canon of art history. This imagery has been implanted within art historical paintings from old masters, impressionists to contemporary.
This is not to neglect skulls' reference to Warhol’s oeuvre, as his fascination with commercial celebrity has secure roots within tragedy and death. With his excellence in color usage as well as perfection of process, "Skull" (1976-77) proves as a work representing Warhol’s excellence.