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Andy Warhol self-portrait to be sold in NYC

April 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 1986 self-portrait by Andy Warhol is heading for the auction block, where it's estimated to sell for up to $40 million.

The stark red-on-black piece titled, "Self-Portrait" is among the last of Warhol's paintings to be exhibited while he was alive.

It is scheduled to be sold at Christie's post-war and contemporary art sale on May 11. The owner is a private American collector who purchased it in 1996 and wished to remain anonymous.

The piece, measuring 9 feet per side, is considered a landmark work by the American Pop artist. Created toward the end of his life, it shows the artist looking directly at the viewer, his trademark hair standing straight up.

The work was one of two self-portraits that were first exhibited in London in 1986 at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery, just six weeks before Warhol's death.

The other one is at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, donated by Ann and Anthony d'Offay in 1992.

The painting is among seven monumental self-portraits that Warhol painted in 1986. The rest are in museums or in foundations. A purple "Self-Portrait" was purchased by a European collector last year for $32.5 million.

The auction record for a Warhol is $71.7 million, for "Green Car Crash."

Warhol died on Feb. 22, 1987, at the age 58 from complications following surgery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.