Andy Warhol Ingrid Bergman Portfolio (F & S II.313-315)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Ingrid Bergman (F & S II.313-315) Year: 1983 Size 38 x 38″ 96.5 x 96.5cm each Medium: Portfolio of three screenprints on Lenox Museum board Edition: Edition of 250, 20 AP, 5 PP, 30 HC, 30 TP, signed and numbered in pencil lower right.
Andy Warhol Ingrid Bergman Portfolio (F & S II.313-315)Meaning & History
‘Miss Bergman is the most completely conscientious actress with whom I have ever worked, in that she thinks of absolutely nothing but her work before and during the time she is doing a picture'. - David O Selznick
Ingrid Bergman is a portfolio of three screenprints published by the artist in 1983, of the titular Swedish actress who had died one year earlier. A specialty of Warhol’s was to paint portraits of stars in the wake of their deaths, immortalising them in his Pop Art iconography. This striking and triumphant example shows Bergman in three vastly different appearances: Herself, The Nun, and With Hat, mixing her screen roles with her personal character.
Ingrid Bergman might be seen as an atypical muse for Warhol next to Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor: although beautiful, the actress had a serious outward character, devoting herself wholly to her career but without relishing in the fame it brought her. The stature of her roles was also monumental, with the star being nominated for Academy Awards for the likes of Casablanca and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Perhaps this is why Warhol chose to render Bergman in costume in two out of three of these portraits. Appearing as The Nun from her film The Bells of St. Mary’s, Warhol converts the saintly to the theatrical, with the her veil divided into Pop Art quadrants of orange, yellow, green and pink. Diametrically opposed to the demure and chaste nature of a religious figure, Warhol has seemingly sexualised Bergman’s character by enhancing her make-up and giving her lips a fuller appearance. This points to Ingrid transcending her character as a beauty icon.
In Herself, Warhol pays homage to the star’s interior life with a contemplative portrait seen in profile. The artist employs a warm colour scheme and has accented her features, mainly her hair. Bergman was a complex character in real life, a skilled polyglot who could speak five languages – Swedish, English, German, Italian and French. Her personal life was also colourful, and although she maintained a pristine image, her many affairs with directors and actors were revealed.
When viewed in their totality Warhol’s portraits of Bergman offer a fascinating insight into Warhol’s portraiture as true studies of character, rather than the surface interpretation of sitters being objects of consumption. Whilst there is undoubtedly a re-working of Bergman’s image, it is one that maintains her independent spirit. David O Selznick, the producer of Gone With the Wind, said of Bergman: ‘Miss Bergman is the most completely conscientious actress with whom I have ever worked, in that she thinks of absolutely nothing but her work before and during the time she is doing a picture.’
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