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Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987)
LOT ID: 81085
Mammy (from the Myths portfolio), 1981

Screenprint, with diamond dust on Lenox Museum Board
38 х 38 in. (96.52 x 96.52 cm.)
Signed, numbered lower right.
Print/Casting Year 1981
Edition 56/200
Foundry/Publisher Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., NY; Rupert Jasen Smith, NY
Lot description
The role of the African American woman as a "mammy" stereotype was popular in the early 20th century. This de-sexualization of the black woman as overweight and matronly, a caretaker for upper class white families while having little care for her own, reconfigured the image of black women in a way most comforting to white America. By Warhol's inclusion of this unflattering view of women of color as a "Myth," he confronts racism head on, as he had done for much of his career (one of his earliest works being "Birmingham Race Riot," completed in 1964). His 1975 "Ladies and Gentlemen" series contains many drag queens of color in fashionable poses, and he has also touched on Western standards of beauty in his multiple screen prints of Botticelli's Venus. His only depiction of a real person of color was Queen Ntombi Twala from the "Reigning Queens" series of 1985. Twala is the only non-European royalty featured in this series.

Andy Warhol (1927-1987) is the most widely recognized artist of the 1960s Pop Art movement, a genre that would change the American art market indefinitely. Warhol received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949, and subsequently moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. It was not long before he was creating ground-breaking works, including paintings, prints, photographs, and films, that brought attention to American pop culture and the lifestyle of Hollywood celebrities. Warhol embraced market culture and helped to lead a change in the New York art scene that would in turn influence others to also look to consumer culture and goods for artistic inspiration. Today, he is regarded as one of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century, contributing not only thousands of works of art that are housed in museums and collections worldwide but also an iconic style that would impact the art market and artists alike for decades. His works have been exhibited in over two thousand exhibitions, including retrospectives at The Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (2008); Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France (1990); and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (1989). His work is currently featured in a major exhibition entitled "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Selected Public Collections:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)
The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Mammy (from the Myths portfolio) by Andy Warhol
  • Mammy (from the Myths portfolio) by Andy Warhol
  • Mammy (from the Myths portfolio) by Andy Warhol
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