This lot is offered by Christie Manson & Woods Ltd
Christie Manson & Woods Ltd
8 King Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6QT, United Kingdom
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Warhol initially photographed Muhammad Ali as part of his Athletes series from 1977. This group of works featured other famous athletes from the period such as Jack Nicklaus, Pele and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and was initiated by the famous West Coast art collector and sports fanatic Richard Weisman. Sports stars were a natural progression for Warhol and his preoccupation with fame and celebrity status. Warhol noted: “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars”.
During this period Warhol traveled to Ali’s training camp Fighter’s Heaven in Pennsylvania to photograph and interview him with Weisman, his business manager Fred Hughes, and the author Victor Bockris. Warhol’s images from this photography session capture the essence of Ali, with his strength and focus highlighted in this composition’s clenched fists and fixed stare.
In the present lot, a complete portfolio of four screenprints entitled Muhammad Ali from 1978, these dynamic elements from Warhol’s portraits, taken from the session with his Polaroid camera at Fighter’s Heaven, are fused with his classic palatte of bold neon colours.
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In addition to the catalogue description: - the full sheets. - the colours fresh and strong. - F&S. 179, very pale time-staining visible in the unprinted areas of the sheet, as is common with this print. - F&S. 180, a little rubbing in the central area of the hair, and to the lower right corner; a small elliptical handling crease, also in the hair, mainly visible in raking light. - F&S. 181, minor rubbing at the lower right corner, mainly visible in raking light. - F&S. 182, a soft oblique crease at the upper right corner, mainly visible in raking light; a few tiny loose paper fibres adhered to the surface in places at lower left. - otherwise the surface of the prints largely free from rubbing and scuff marks. - hinged with paper tape in several places at the sheet edges verso. Otherwise as described and in very good condition.
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