Marilyn Monroe (1962)
About this artwork
Following Marilyn Monroe’s suicide in 1962 Warhol created numerous portraits of the star. His ‘Marilyn Diptych’, reproduced here, is one of his most iconic works. It features two canvases each with twenty-five Marilyns printed in a grid pattern. The two sides both complement and contrast with each other. One is vibrant and bursting with energy, a representation of the star as an icon. The other is monochrome and sombre, the uneven application of ink causing her face to fade and slowly disappear. Warhol, however, never initially intended the works to be shown as a diptych. According to the collector who bought the work directly from Warhol, he presented them as two separate works: “I said I thought they should be presented as a diptych, Andy replied ‘gee whiz yes’”.
- title: Marilyn Monroe
- accession number: AR00319
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- depicted: Marilyn Monroe
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- subject: Pop Art
- date created: 1962
- measurements: 55.90 x 72.40 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2016.
Andy Warhol was born 'Andrew Warhola' to Slovakian immigrant parents living in Pittsburgh in America. Warhol's subject matter was taken from popular culture, in the form of advertising, comics, magazines and packaging. He was able to produce his works quickly by transferring images onto canvas or paper through photography and screenprinting, sometimes with the help of assistants. Warhol stated that he wanted to make works that showed no trace of having been produced by hand. His interest in mass production reflected the fast-developing consumer culture he recognised in America. His New York studio, 'The Factory,' became a popular meeting place for artists, drop-outs, celebrities and bands.