Andy Warhol As A Colourist
Editioned Proof Print Market Watch

A screenprinted portrait of ballet dancer Karen Kain. Fine black lines define her facial features, while her hair is styled in an upward bun. Her hands gracefully cross just below her chin. The portrait is overlaid on an abstracted pastel block of colours.Karen Kain (F. & S. IIB. 236) © Andy Warhol 1980
Rebecca Marsham

Rebecca Marsham, Sales Director[email protected]

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Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

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Andy Warhol's editioned proof prints - Artist's Proofs (APs), Trial Proofs (TPs), Printer's Proofs (PPs), and Hors d'Commerce (HCs) - occupy a pivotal role in the King of Pop's oeuvre. These proof prints, integral to Warhol's prolific output, underscore the artist's ceaseless experimentation with colour and form. Each type of proof is marked by its rarity and unique characteristics, speaking to Warhol's enduring significance in the modern art canon.

Andy Warhol has garnered numerous titles and accolades throughout his career: Dubbed the King of Pop by MyArtBroker; likened to Leonardo da Vinci by Madonna; hailed as the Most Influential American Artist by Larry Gagosian; the Centre of the Universe, according to Fran Lebowitz. These recognitions are a testament to the immense admiration Warhol commands. However, while his artistic genius is widely celebrated, lesser known are his skills as a colourist and his unique ability to transform prints and multiples into distinct works of art, despite their inherent similarity in medium.

Download our complete The American Pop Prints Report, which explores the prints and multiples performance of various artists over the past five years leading up to the May Marquee sales of 2023 Quarter 2.


Our value index blends public auction data and private sales data from our collectors network. Our market value index uses artwork & artist data and a Repeat-Sales Regression (RSR) approach. Using the sale price of individual prints to estimate the fluctuations in the value of an average representative print over a unique period of time.

Our algorithm tracks over 48,500 auction histories & our own private sales data across 3,500 artworks spanning 30 years, including signed, unsigned, APs, PPs, TPs and sets of prints & editions.

We use several metrics when comparing artists:

  1. Market Size: the total value in sales in £GBP over a given period.
  2. Transaction Volume: the total number of sales over a given period
  3. Average Sales Price (ASP): the average price of a sale over a given period.
  4. Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): a measurement used to smoothen the annual growth rate over a given period.
  5. Year-on-Year (YoY): a direct comparison between the latest year and the previous year.

Warhol’s Editioned Proof Prints

Andy Warhol continues to capture our attention and that of the art world at large. His consistent auction success YoY is impossible to overlook. However, as specialists in the prints and multiples segment, we have observed a particularly robust market performance in Warhol's editioned proof prints.

In the prints and multiples market, editioned prints are limited in quantity and numbered to indicate their place within the edition. Edition sizes can range from 10 to 100+ prints, adding value and authenticity to the work. Additionally, there are editioned proof prints that fall outside the main edition. These editioned proofs, like Hors de Commerce and Exhibition Proofs, are intended for unique exhibition purposes. Trial Proofs and Printer Proofs, on the other hand, showcase experimental colour variations. Editioned proof prints are rare, and their market performance is gaining momentum as they offer collectors a chance to own distinct iterations of an artist's work. Refer to the glossary below for more information on these editioned proof categories.

  1. Trial Proofs (TP): These test prints allow artists to experiment with variations and adjustments before finalizing the edition. They often feature unique colours, making them stand out as individual works.
  2. Artist Proofs (AP): Considered separate from the main edition, these proofs are used by artists to assess the quality and make necessary adjustments prior to finalization.
  3. Hors de Commerce (HC): Translating to "Outside of Trade" in French, HC prints are typically reserved for the artist or publisher. They may be used for gifting, promotional purposes, or archival preservation.
  4. Printer's Proof (PP): Retained by the printer or publisher, these proofs resemble regular edition prints and serve as reference copies.
  5. Exhibition Proof (EP): Created as promotional prints, these proofs are intended for display in galleries, museums, or other exhibition settings.

Warhol Editioned Proof Print Total Sales x Volume, 2017- 2023

A double line graph depicting Andy Warhol's Editioned Proof print performance over five years, showing total sales and total sales by volume.Warhol Editioned Proof Print Total Sales x Volume, 2017- 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Editioned Proof Print Performance: Total Sales

Market Fluctuations and Promising Rebounds

Looking closer at Warhol's editioned proof print market performance over the past five years, we can observe notable fluctuations in total sales. In 2019, the market experienced a peak in sales volume and turnover from previous years, with 40 works entering the market and generating 1.8 million (£GBP) in turnover. However, in the subsequent years of 2020 and 2021, we witnessed consecutive declines in both sales volume and turnover from 2019.

2022 however, marked a strong rebound for editioned proof prints, reaching the highest sales turnover of the five-year period at 2.6 million (£GBP). As for 2023, the year is off to a promising start, with 35 works by sales volume, totalling nearly 1.5 million (£GBP). Considering the continuous growth of online sales platforms like MyArtBroker who specialise in selling Warhol prints, these figures are likely to appreciate further.

Warhol Editioned Proof Print ASP x YoY, 2017 - 2023

A double line graph illustrating the yearly fluctuations in the average selling price of Andy Warhol's supplementary prints over the past five years.Warhol Editioned Proof Print ASP x YoY, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Average Selling Price and Investment Potential

The ASPs of Warhol's editioned proof prints generally follow the same pattern as total sales turnover, experiencing similar YoY fluctuations. The calculated average selling price CAGR stands at 13%. This suggests that owning one of Warhol's special edition prints over the five-year period could yield a return close to the yearly ASP. However, we underscore that each editioned proof print is unique, which will inevitably impact individual returns on investment.

Andy Warhol: The Colourist

While Warhol is widely recognised for his subject matter and the charismatic essence he infused into each artwork, his remarkable skill as a colourist often goes unnoticed. Every portrait he crafted is imbued with vibrant and captivating hues, carefully chosen to convey the subject's emotions and underscore the underlying impact of the depicted subject matter. Each colour holds purpose and intention, contributing to the overall artistic narrative, likely due to the notable success of Warhol’s Trial Proofs.

Warhol Editioned Proof Print Total Sales x Category, 2017 - 2023

A line graph showing the total sales turnover of Andy Warhol's five different editioned proof print categories over the last five-year period. Warhol Editioned Proof Print Total Sales x Category, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Trial Proofs Yearly Success and Collectible Value

Upon examining Warhol's editioned proof print categories, it becomes apparent that his Trial Proofs have demonstrated notable YoY success. While there was a slight decline from 2019 to 2021, the Trial proofs experienced a resurgence in 2022, reaching a comparable level to 2018 with sales amounting to 1.1 million (£GBP). Remarkably, this figure has remained exact YoY since 2020 when considering Trial Proofs by volume. Although experiencing a slight dip in 2020 and 2021, the sales turnover has generally increased YoY, proving that the value of these unique works has increased as they are unique reflections of Warhol’s experimental phase. Among Warhol’s top print sales in 2023, MoonWalk (TP) (1987) has garnered considerable attention securing its position in Warhol’s top ten-selling prints for 2023.

Warhol Editioned Proof Print Sales Volume x Category, 2017 - 2023

I line graph showing the year-on-year transaction volume of Andy Warhol's five different editiones proof print categories from 2017 to 2023. Warhol Editioned Proof Print Sales Volume x Category, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Printer's Proof Sales Turnover and Market Potential

Warhol's Printer's Proofs, in addition to the Trial Proofs, showcased a remarkable sales turnover in 2022, reaching 1.1 million (£GBP). This significant figure was achieved through the sale of 11 works. While it marks the highest sales volume in the past five years for this category of editioned proof prints, the difference compared to other yearly periods is not substantial. However, considering the slight uniqueness of these proofs compared to the original editions and their rarity in the market, it would be unsurprising to witness a healthy demand for them if they continue to circulate in higher volumes.

At MyArtBroker, we proudly offer exclusive access to an extensive collection of Warhol prints and editions. With our user-friendly online Trading Floor, you can conveniently sell and buy artwork at any time, allowing for flexibility and convenience. Our team of experts possesses in-depth knowledge and understanding of the various series comprising Warhol's print market, providing valuable insights and specialised expertise.

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