The »Andy Warhol Collection«
In 1980 Andy Warhol visited Rosenthal AG in Selb accompanied by the gallery owner Hans Mayer and his manager Fred Hughes. The contact had been arranged by Dr. Peter Littmann, a senior manager at the company and keen art enthusiast, to arrange a portrait of Philip Rosenthal. He found his visit to Rosenthal inspiring, especially the atmosphere in Erkersreuth Castle. The later portrait of Philip Rosenthals was created in Warhol's New York 'Factory' Studio based upon the Polaroid shots taken in Selb.
From the year 2002 on, the Warhol Foundation has granted Rosenthal exclusive access to the entire body of Warhol’s visual work. The images selected for the »Andy Warhol Collection« combine some of the loviest and rarest examples of Warhol’s genius with several of his best known portraits, such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. The translation into fine porcelain and crystal provide an utterly fresh and enchanting insight into this world-famous 20th century talent. “We wanted to show his entire work, really an hommage to him. It’s important to note that we didn’t just reproduce the images, but worked with them. The Foundation trusted us to adapt them tastefully, and they were pleased with the work that our designers achieved in this”, says Juliane Dörschel, project manager at the Rosenthal Creative Center then.
Dieter Fritsch, décor designer at Rosenthal, reports that he had choosen a number of Warhol’s images from which he made different samples. Sometimes a promising image doesn’t look right when you see it on porcelain. "This process lasted about five months, preparing a tentative collection to order to get people’s reaction. Most important was to get the colours absolutely correct", says Fritsch.
The model maker took the technical drawings from the décor designers to work by hand in plaster or in a kind of hard foam that is very light. He made the three-dimensional models, from which the first porcelain objects were then made.
The job of the screen printer Heike Lauterbach is to oversee the printing of the design decals: "The colours must be very precise before going into the kiln, so precise measurements are required. When you run your hand over a finished piece of the Andy Warhol porcelain, you will feel different textures, different thicknesses for each colour – red, for instance, is very thick.” All designs were placed on the products according to samples and guidelines. It did take a lot of experience to get it right checking for the positioning of the design and ensuring there are no bubbles of tears.