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Andy Warhol 1928 - 1987

Muhammad Ali, 1978

Portfolio of four screenprints on Strathmore Bristol paper
40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Edition: 150, 10 AP, 1 PP
Signed and numbered in felt pen lower right, except II.179 - lower left

Printer: Rupert Jasen Smith, New York
Publisher: Andy Warhol Enterprises, Inc., New York

Catalogue Raisonne: Feldman & Schellmann II.179-182

In 1977, Andy Warhol received a commission from the art collector and sports enthusiast, Richard Weisman to create a sports figures, among them Chris Evert, Pele, Dorothy Hamill, Jack Nicklaus, Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Muhammad Ali, 1978 was the first published edition portfolio depicting a sports figure, inspired by this commission.

By the time Warhol created Muhammad Ali, he was himself enough of a celebrity that, rather than rely on the found images that had been his source material earlier in his career, he was able to photograph the boxer in person.

Executed in 1978, Warhol's picture of Muhammad Ali shows the boxer at the height of his fame.   At that point he was - for the third time - the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion.   After more than a decade of professional bouts, he remained able to stun his opponents with his agility, winning fight after fight.   Warhol has chosen to portray this giant of boxing, this sporting hero, in a combative pose; the raised fists are the tools of his trade, the attributes, his only necessary paraphernalia - they are the raw materials with which the boxer made his name and reputation.   Muhammad Ali is presented here as a Pop icon, a god of the modern age, a contemporary hero.

This is the first published edition portfolio depicting a sports figure and was inspired by a commission received in 1977 from Richard Weisman to create a series of sports figures.

Based on photographs by Andy Warhol. 

Stamped in black on verso, © Andy Warhol Enterprises, Inc. 1978.

Bears the papermaker's chop mark.

Warhol made paintings of this subject.

Please contact us for pricing and availability:

Gul Coskun
gul@coskunfineart.com