Bardot was the original sex kitten, a superstar of French New Wave cinema, and the embodiment of liberated feminine sensuality. In these portraits of her, based on an iconic magazine photograph taken by Richard Avedon in 1959, Warhol applied similar formal techniques to those he used in the 1964 and 1965 portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor -- a cropped frontal viewpoint and contrasting palette (blue/red, pink/purple, green/black) with vivid primary accents on eyes and lips. In each of the paintings, Bardot's carnal beauty fills the square canvas in the manner of a record cover, her voluptuous, leonine features framed by abundant, tousled hair.
An abundantly illustrated catalogue, with essays by Warhol collaborator and writer Glenn O’Brien and Purple Magazine editor Olivier Zahm. From Gagosian London exhibition: October 10-November 12, 2011.