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Andy Warhol (1928-1987) – ”Perrier Bottles”

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale 11-14 June 2019

Lot 635. Andy Warhol (USA 1928‑1987). ”Perrier Bottles”. Stamped twice with the Estate of Andy Warhol stamp and stamped with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. stamp on the overlap. Numbered PA23‑005 on the overlap. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, 51 x 76 cm.

Executed in 1983.


1.000.000 – 1.500.000 SEK
€ 94.000 – 141.000


Estate of Andy Warhol, New York.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York.
Art Now Gallery, Gothenburg, acquired from the above.
A Swedish Private Collection, acquired from the above.


Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm and Art Now Gallery, Gothenburg,
”Andy Warhol: Liquid pop”, 1999.


Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm and Art Now Gallery, Gothenburg, ”Andy Warhol: Liquid pop”, exhibition catalogue, 1999, illustrated.

In context

Andy Warhol’s “Perrier Bottles” – a blend of art and commerce

The pop art-movement challenged the traditional perception of art with the use of the popular mass media and everyday objects. This visualisation was brought into the circles of the fine art and it was its experimental form that Andy Warhol adopted, and within it he created his own signature style. Because of his previous background in advertising, he was an early adaptor to innovative techniques of image making, such as the silkscreen printmaking, sometimes using photos as models. Warhol had solved many technical concerns and could work effectively and quickly, almost machine-like, producing more than one hundred paintings in only a few months. ”The reason I’m painting this way is because I want to be a machine. Whatever I do, and do machine-like, is because it is what I want to do. I think it would be terrific if everybody was alike.”

The burst of artistic innovation and production characterized Warhol’s late period, as he re-immersed himself in painting during the 1980’s. With an everlasting enthusiasm and vitality he threw himself into new exciting projects and embraced new ideas with an astonishing passion. At this time, Andy Warhol’s critical success reached even more immense heights and being associated with Warhol was as glamorous as the decade itself. Unlike any other contemporary artist, Warhol knew how to brand himself and teamed up with several companies during the years, they all wanted to lend his legendary name to launch campaigns and attract the younger generation. In the early 1980’s, the sparkling water brand Perrier commissioned Andy Warhol to do a series of screen prints featuring the company’s famous teardrop bottles. In a series of over 40 prints he depicted the Perrier bottles in bold colours. The campaign posters featuring his energetic pop art-design eventually won the 1983 Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française and became a huge success for Perrier. Warhol also created several different compositions featuring the Perrier bottles using synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas in addition to his screen prints, one version being the work included in this sale. This stunning composition is a brilliant convergence of the artist’s past and present, as Andy Warhol worked in advertisement prior to his successful career as an artist. The commercial evocations of this work also reminds one of his earlier paintings depicting the Campbell’s soup cans and Coca Cola bottles, today regarded as legendary paintings behind the Pop Art revolution.

When Andy Warhol began to accept commissions for advertising work from a wide range of companies in the 1980’s, many critics noted that he was returning to where he had once started. After his move to New York in 1949 Andy Warhol became a prize-winning commercial illustrator yet he maintained that he “was always a commercial artist”. While he was working in the commercial world he produced numerous illustrations, most of them related to the fashion industry as he was namely working for the I. Miller Shoe Company. Later on in 1968, he even posted an ad in the issue of the Village Voice where he offered his merchandising services for: “clothing, AC-DC, cigarettes, small tapes, sound equipment, Rock N’ Roll Records, anything…”. The commercial industry relates directly to Warhol’s idea of art for everyone and he was an early advocate for the mass-production of everyday goods. “What’s great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.”

The same visual language seen in his earlier illustrations, which established him as a pioneer and one of the most innovative artists of his generation in the 1960’s, still resonates in the picture depicting the “Perrier Bottles” from the early 1980’s included in this sale. Fine contour lines and contrasting colours against a one coloured background compose this picture, showing several Perrier bottles leaning towards each other. This way of painting, using only a few simple lines, became characteristic for Andy Warhol and in his final decade his art almost became synonymous with his infamously liberated lifestyle. Everyone wanted a piece of Andy Warhol, and by purchasing the colourful bottles featured in his ad campaigns it was suddenly possible.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern & Contemporary Art
Phone: +46 (0)734-32 41 45

Fredrik Fellbom


Sculpture & Prints
Phone: +46 (0)707-51 81 31

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