This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 76cm x W 102cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
Printed in 1978, Gems (F. & S. II.89) is a signed screen print in colour on Strathmore Bristol paper by Andy Warhol. The print depicts a round cut emerald gem. The print is rendered in a magnificent variety of greys, greens and blues against a plain backdrop. The large gemstone occupies the centre of the composition, dominating the print and drawing the viewer’s attention towards the spectacular gem. Black hand-drawn gestural lines add dimensions and texture to the still life, bringing dynamism to the print.
Gems (F. & S. II.89) is part of the Gems series, produced in 1978 towards the end of Warhol’s artistic career. This series is composed of four screen prints each depicting a precious gemstone, such as rubies, diamonds and emeralds. This series marks a departure from Warhol’s widely recognised depictions of celebrity culture. The inanimate objects which become the focus of this series contrast with Warhol’s prints of stars and 20th century icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Nevertheless, the gems in this series are the embodiment of the beauty and glamour that fascinated Warhol and led to his obsession with celebrities.
The print is characterised by Warhol’s experimentation with lines and colour. Gems (F. & S. II.89) reflects Warhol’s more expressive turn, which came to dominate the prints he produced later on in his career such as the Skull and Mick Jagger series. This experimental approach differs greatly from the mechanical aesthetic of his earlier work, such as the Campbell’s Soup series, as well as his more traditional approach to still life drawing that underlined his work as a freelance commercial illustrator in the 1950s.