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  • by William Pinney

JAF’s First Major Contemporary Art Acquisition

We have all heard of Andy Warhol, and most of us have heard of the green flash seen as the sun disappears into the Pacific. The Jonathan Art Foundation has acquired Sunset by Andy Warhol, and it will be hung at the Beach Club and will be the anchor tenant in a program to upgrade the Beach Club art.

Born in 1928, Warhol is now one of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century. He started his career as a commercial illustrator in advertising. In the early 1960s he created art based on adapting or modifying images of consumer icons using commercial printing techniques. This bridge between traditional art and commercial iconography became known as Pop Art. His ideas made him a globally recognized cultural figure in his own lifetime.

Our acquisition exemplifies these ideas. Warhol created many art works using a commercial technique known as silk screening. In our case, Warhol created a composition of the setting sun, a universally recognized subject appreciated by the mass market. Instead of printing thousands of identical images, he chose a different palette for each individual print, creating a highly collectible set of 470 unique interpretations from the same printing mask.

What firmly cemented Warhol’s reputation was his New York studio known as The Factory. It became a magnet for intellectuals, artistic talent, celebrities, money, and inevitably public media. Much of the output of the Factory was created by the collaborative input of many talents and became very valuable. In 2009 The Economist magazine described Warhol as the bell weather of the art market.

To purchase Sunset, JAF supporter Elizabeth Van Denburgh pledged an amount to JAF--a 501(c)3 non-profit organization--as a charitable gift and had a consultative role in the JAF search process. JAF provided the expertise to identify and acquire the piece. JAF’s contribution to the purchase of the work comes from funds raised at our annual gala, which next year will be held on March 21, 2020. Please attend, as besides being a terrific party, your participation at any level is critical to the continued success of our vibrant acquisition strategy.

Also join us on the evening of Wednesday, October 2nd as we unveil this stunning work in the Beach Club.

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