Lot Details

For his now legendary first show at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Philadelphia, PA in 1965, Andy Warhol covered the museum walls with sheets of S&H Green Stamps prints. This historic exhibition was organized for the Philadelphia ICA by its new curator, Sam Green, who until a few months earlier had been a frequenter of Warhol’s Factory and a young gallery director at Dick Bellamy’s legendary Green Gallery in New York. Warhol had made several paintings with S+H Green Stamps as a motif in 1962 and one of these works was included in the ICA exhibition, but it was primarily as a clever nod to the resourceful young curator that Warhol chose to use the image again as the invitation for the show. Green seized the opportunity, and had 6,000 copies of the invitation printed, an extravagant number at that time, given that the space could hold only 300, and used some of those that were not mailed out as wallpaper, and as the backdrop for pre-exhibition publicity photos. Then, on the day of the opening, Green made a grand entrance alongside Warhol and Edie Sedgwick wearing a tie silk-screened with the same S & H Green Stamp motif.

This folded print has 5 horizontal folds and 2 vertical folds. Although they were published in a limited edition of 6,000, far fewer original invitations are extant nearly half a century on, exactly because they were invitations that many discarded after receiving, making the remaining prints collectors items.

This iconic print is fully referenced in the catalogue raisonne of Andy Warhol's works on paper.

S&H Green Stamps was a 1950s coupon system whereby consumers would receive stamps in exchange for purchasing gas and other everyday goods. After collecting so many stamps, the consumer would redeem them for various products. Coming from a lower income family in Pittsburgh, Warhol was always intrigued with the idea that you could get something for free. The S& H coupon program was an easily recognizable staple of life in middle America for several decades - from the 1950s into the 1970s - and many children growing up in that era remember their mothers diligently licking the back of the S & H stickers and pasting them onto a coupon book to be redeemed for free household goods. Representing and commenting on American consumerism in his prints, Warhol turned recognizable images, like the S&H Green Stamps, into iconic Pop imagery.

Own an uncommon piece of Sixties Pop Art history as well as a nostalgic symbol of middle American consumer culture of the mid-Sixties!

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, was an iconic and versatile American Pop artist. After studying design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Warhol moved to New York in 1949 to pursue a career as a commercial artist. Though successful, Warhol wanted to be an independent painter and in the early 1960s began to create paintings based on advertisement imagery. He built his studio called "The Factory" and developed his signature style, which employed commercial silkscreening techniques to create identical, mass-produced images on canvas. With his multiple images of soup cans, soda bottles, dollar bills and celebrities, Warhol revealed the beauty within mass culture and redefined the art world. Warhol died in 1987 due to complications following an operation; as per his final request, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established after his death.

Selected Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA)
J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
Tate Gallery (London, UK)
National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh, UK)

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Catalogue Raisonné: 11.9, Feldman-Schellman
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  • Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia, 1965
  • Ships From: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 23 x 22.65 in. (58.42 x 57.53 cm.)
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