Screenprinting was a significant part of Warhol’s practice for many years, allowing him to play with an originally commercial process to create high art. Throughout his career, he worked with many different assistants and printers to create his different print portfolios. In 1977 he met Rupert Jasen Smith, whom he would go on to work with on the ‘Space Fruit: Still Lifes’ series in 1979. Taking the classical subject matter of still-lifes and more specifically fruit, Warhol adds a modern element by exploring issues of space and shadow, almost abstracting the fruit until they appear unfamiliar, like something we might find in outer space. The ‘space’ of the title can then be read both ways, as the physical presence of the object and their new appearance as uncanny futuristic objects.
"When I look at things, I always see the space they occupy. I always want the space to reappear, to make a comeback, because it’s lost space when there’s something in it."
- Warhol, 1975
In their creation, Warhol also plays around with the technique of screen-printing itself, a process where the image is created through layering, each screen printed in a different colour and adding a new part of the composition. In ‘Space Fruit: Still Lifes (Watermelon), 1979,’ an example aside from the numbered edition of 150, Warhol takes this a step further by mixing screenprint and collage; separating out the layers, so each silkscreen layer is printed onto a separate sheet of either coloured paper or clear acetate. The layers of sheets are then overlapped to create the image and stapled along the top edge to fully resolve the image for prosperity. The finished work is at once a bold visual statement and an exploration of the physical process of screenprinting and collage.
The striking print is sold accompanied by its Certificate of Authenticity from the Andy Warhol Foundation, New York.
Take a closer look at Lot 243 ⇒
Within prints and multiples, there is the opportunity to acquire icons in the genre and to make new discoveries; to purchase the work of a top master for a reasonable price or the chance to uncover something new and unfamiliar.
At Lyon & Turnbull, we handle prints from a wide variety of artists: from 20th century masters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro through to the British canon of printmakers including Dame Laura Knight, L.S. Lowry, Edward Bawden, all the way to David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Our auctions encompass printmaking created up to and including the present day, with artists currently working in these mediums, such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Banksy and the Connor Brothers.