Marx Brothers (1982)
About this artwork
Warhol’s portrait of the Marx brothers is from the series ‘Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century’. It was the first collaboration with the gallery owner Robert Feldman, whom Warhol continued to work with throughout the 1980s. The series of “Jewish Geniuses” (as Warhol referred to the project), featured portraits of a selection of notable Jews such as Albert Einstein and Sarah Bernhardt. As they were all deceased Warhol had to source images from archival material. The image he used here was a film still taken from the 1946 film ‘A Night in Casablanca’. Throughout the series Warhol employs abstract, collage-like blocks of colour which contrast with the photographic print. When the series was first shown at the Jewish Museum in 1980, it received mixed responses.
- title: Marx Brothers
- accession number: AR00446
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Lithograph on paper
- date created: 1982
- measurements: 72.00 x 58.40 cm (framed: 79.00 x 65.20 x 3.80 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.