Whitney Museum of American Art - May 2016
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Ethel Scull 36 Times, 1963. Acrylic and screenprint on canvas
"For this work, one of his first commissioned portraits, Andy Warhol escorted art collector Ethel Scull to a Photomat in a Times Square pinball arcade. Under the artist’s guidance, she posed with and without her large sunglasses, appearing alternately glamorous and playful, serious and vacuous. This grid reproduces only some of the more than one hundred resulting photographs. Scull and her husband, Robert, who engaged Warhol to make the painting as a birthday gift to his wife, had elicited art world recognition with their ambitious patronage of early Pop art. With its insistent, cinematic multiplicity of expressions and poses, Warhol’s portrait elevates Ethel to the iconic realm previously reserved for his depictions of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe."