Title: ‘The Last Supper Be a Somebody with a Body’ Andy Warhol
New York Auction November, 2021
Acrylic on canvas.
126.4 x 153 cm. (49 3/4 x 60 1/4 in).
Stamped with the Estate of Andy Warhol and numbered “PA10.300” and with the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts seal on the overlap. Commissioned by his friend the art dealer Alexandre Iolas, Warhol prepared more than 40 versions, both silk-screened and hand-painted, of the Last Supper. Among these, 10 of the silk-screened ones and 12 collages were displayed at an exhibit that opened in Milan on January 22, 1987, and closed on March 21, 1987.
As he did with most subjects, Warhol approached The Last Supper through mediations of the original, working from a cheap black and white photograph of a widely circulated 19th-century engraving and a schematic outline drawing found in a 1913 Cyclopedia of Painters and Painting. More than a demonstration of reverence for Leonardo’s masterwork, or even an unveiling of his Catholic faith, Warhol’s Last Supper paintings are a confession of the conflict he felt between his faith and his sexuality, and ultimately a plea for salvation during the mass suffering of the homosexual community during the AIDS crisis.