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Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987)
LOT ID: 91631
Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate,, ie. circa 1974

Other, Acetate, Photographic Negative
14 х 17 in. (35.56 x 43.18 cm.)
Other, Accompanied by a hand signed letter of provenance from the representative of the Lowell family, owners of the famous printing studio Chromacomp that published important prints of Warhols, including Paloma Picasso, in the 1970s
Print/Casting Year ie. circa 1974
Edition UNIQUE
Foundry/Publisher Andy Warhol
Lot description
This is an original, unique black and white acetate created from Andy Warhol's unique drawing of Pablo Picasso's daughter Paloma. Warhol used acetates of his photographs as well as drawings as inspiration for his screenprints. The provenance is Andy Warhol's studio "The Factory". This is one of fewer than a handful of acetates of Paloma Picasso that remain in existence today.

“Somebody called me up and asked me what I thought of [Pablo] Picasso and I said I never think about Picasso, I just think about Paloma.” (Andy Warhol, quoted in L. Persky, “Picasso,” Interview,September 1980) Fashion designer Paloma Picasso was one of Andy Warhol’s closest friends who confided in him as she launched her jewelry line and enjoyed nights at Studio 54 as a part of his inner circle.

Bob Colacello, former Editor in Chief of Interview magazine (and right hand man to Andy Warhol) explained, "many hands were involved in the rather mechanical silkscreening process...but only Andy in all the years I knew him, worked on the acetates." An acetate is a photographic negative transferred to a transparency, allowing an image to be magnified and projected onto a screen. As only Andy worked on the acetates, it was the last original step prior to the screenprinting of an image, and the most important element in Warhol's creative process for silkscreening. The photographs were then sent to a commercial silkscreen shop - Chromacomp - where they were transferred onto the silk or silk-like fabric and then returned to Warhol for printing.

This acetate was brought by Warhol to Eunice and Jackson Lowell, owners of Chromacomp, a fine art printing studio in NYC, and was acquired directly from the Lowell's private collection. During the 1970s and 80s, Chromacomp was the premier atelier for fine art limited edition silkscreen prints; indeed, Chromacomp was the largest studio producing fine art prints in the world for artists such as Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Erte, Robert Natkin, Larry Zox, Nell Blaine, and many more. All of the plates were done by hand and in some cases photographically.

This piece has never been on the open market before.

Famed printer Alexander Heinrici worked for Eunice & Jackson Lowell at Chromacomp and brought Andy Warhol in as an account. Shortly after, Warhol or his workers brought in several boxes of photographs, paper and/or acetates and asked Jackson Lowell to use his equipment to enlarge certain images or portions of images. Warhol made comments and or changes and asked the Lowells to print some editions; others were printed elsewhere.

The Lowell's allowed the printer to be named as Alexander Heinrici rather than Chromacomp, since Heinrici was the one who brought the account in. Other images were never printed by Chromacomp- they were simply being considered by Warhol. After completing the screenprint of Paloma Picasso, Warhol left the remaining acetates, including this one, with Eunice and Jackson Lowell. After the Lowells closed the shop, the photographs were packed away where they remained for nearly a quarter of a century.

Shown for reference only -- to the right-- is an image one of Warhol's original drawings of Paloma Picasso that was used to create this acetate.

The acetate is in good vintage condition, though there is some scratching and scuffing to the front (see photos) and the back has red discoloration marks throughout. (please see photo) However, those would not be seen when the acetate is framed.

Own a piece of Pop Art history -- and one of the few authentic pieces by Andy Warhol that has not yet come to market. It is accompanied by a hand signed letter of provenance from the Lowell family representative, addressed to the dealer who acquired the collection from Chromacomp, Inc. The acetate is exactly as it was brought from Warhol - unevenly cut, with an approximately 2" long by 1/4" wide strip of scotch tape on the far left edge.
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Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
  • Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
  • Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
  • Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
  • Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
  • Nude Portrait of Paloma Picasso: Unique Photographic Acetate, by Andy Warhol
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