Warhol silkscreen of Brando may snag $20 million: Christie's

NEW YORK Wed Sep 5, 2012 7:49pm EDT

An Andy Warhol silkscreen of actor Marlon Brando, ''Marlon,'' a 1966 silkscreen, is shown in this Christie's handout image on September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Christie's/Handout

An Andy Warhol silkscreen of actor Marlon Brando, ''Marlon,'' a 1966 silkscreen, is shown in this Christie's handout image on September 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Christie's/Handout

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Andy Warhol silkscreen of actor Marlon Brando, clad in leather astride a motorcycle from the movie "The Wild One," is expected to sell for $20 million when it hits the auction block in November, Christie's said on Wednesday.

"Marlon," a 1966 silkscreen that is one of the late pop artist's most famous Hollywood portraits, will be part of the auction house's sale of post-war and contemporary art. It is being sold from the collection of businessman and Museum of Modern Art trustee Donald L. Bryant Jr.

"Alongside his portraits of Elvis Presley, Warhol's image of Marlon Brando exudes a raw sexuality and intense power rarely found in his work," said Brett Gorvy, Christie's chairman for post-war and contemporary art.

The image of Brando was taken from a publicity photo for the 1953 movie about motorcycle gangs.

"Marlon" will be sold at Christie's New York headquarters on November 14. The sale coincides with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit of works by Warhol.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, established in 1987 at the late artist's direction, said on Wednesday that over a period of years it would sell through Christie's paintings, photos and other works by Warhol.

"The Foundation also plans to mark its 25th anniversary by making additional gifts of significant works to museums, continuing its long history of donating Warhol's art," it said in a joint statement with Christie's.

Warhol's "Green car crash - Green burning car I" sold in 2007 for $71.7 million. A four-panel self-portrait, Warhol's first, commanded $38.4 million in May 2011, and his "Double Marlon," another Brando-inspired work from 1966, sold for $32.5 million in 2008. Four months ago, a Warhol work featuring Elvis sold for $37 million at Sotheby's.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney, Dave Zimmerman)

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