Andy Warhol, ‘Andy Warhol fuer die Gruenen’, 1979, Cerbera Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Andy Warhol fuer die Gruenen’, 1979, Cerbera Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Andy Warhol fuer die Gruenen’, 1979, Cerbera Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Andy Warhol fuer die Gruenen’, 1979, Cerbera Gallery

Warhol intended the portraits to be used for the Green Party’s parliamentary campaign in 1980 (Beuys was one of the founding members of the party and was active in the last decade of his life). However, the image of Beuys’ face would have suggested that his involvement with the Greens was a political performance as opposed to a real political movement. Instead, Warhol designed a new poster with several self-portraits that was distributed locally around Düsseldorf by means of a VW van driving around the city and tented area where Beuys again spoke to passers-by.[⁠4] Despite the U.S. artist’s notoriety, his poster was not widely used. However, I consider this to be their greatest artistic collaboration. Warhol admired Beuys’ political projects (which are the subject of my dissertation), even if he didn’t completely understand the German artist’s goals.

As Daniel Spaulding argued in his paper at the 2016 College Art Association conference, Warhol and Beuys present two parts of a dialectic: Warhol used technical reproductions to translate consumer seduction into a demand for art, while Beuys’ secular magic and shamanism stood for a lost modernist utopia.⁠[6] Beuys’ admired Warhol because of he thought the U.S. artist’s work was a political statement about U.S. society, though in his own work he tried to enact a revolutionary transformation.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York