Spritmuseum and the Absolut Art Collection recently recovered the lost companion piece of the original Andy Warhol artwork for Absolut Vodka. It is entitled “Absolut Warhol Blue”.
The painting was one of two Warhol pieces commissioned in 1985, when Vin & Sprit AB created what was to become one of the world’s best-known advertising campaigns for its brand, Absolut Vodka. Between 1985 and 2004, 550 artists from around the world were commissioned to create portraits based on the inimitable vodka bottle outline.
Andy Warhol was the first artist brought on board. His piece “Absolut Warhol” quickly became an iconic symbol of the Swedish state-owned company’s US advertising campaign. Vin & Sprit AB commissioned two paintings from Warhol, but only one was reproduced as an advert. The other was forgotten, and when the Swedish state donated the collection to Spritmuseum in 2008 in conjunction with the sale of Vin & Sprit AB, it was not included.
When it suddenly appeared at an auction 35 years later, questions arose about its ownership, causing the piece to be recalled from the auction.
Realizing that this might be the lost Warhol piece, Spritmuseum launched a thorough investigation of its ownership. As the investigation proceeded, it quickly became clear that this, in fact, was the other Warhol.
“Spritmuseum was able to prove that this was the painting commissioned in 1985 but not included when the collection was handed over to the museum,” says Museum Director Ingrid Leffler. “We are grateful and happy to be able to reunite Absolut Warhol’s companion piece with the rest of the collection.”
“For us, it feels fantastic that this essential artwork has come home,” says Mia Sundberg, curator of the collection. “We’re currently looking at how to publicly exhibit ‘Absolut Warhol Blue’ as soon as possible.”
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