Andy Warhol, ‘FIPS Mouse (Wustenspringmaus), from the Toy Suite’, 1983, Heritage Auctions
Andy Warhol, ‘FIPS Mouse (Wustenspringmaus), from the Toy Suite’, 1983, Heritage Auctions
Andy Warhol, ‘FIPS Mouse (Wustenspringmaus), from the Toy Suite’, 1983, Heritage Auctions

Framed: 9.5in x 11.5in x 1.25in

In 1982, Warhol's long-time friend and gallerist Bruno Bischofberger asked him to create a series of small works for children. Warhol responded with 128 silkscreen ink on canvases with acrylic additions known as Toy Paintings. The art was inspired from Warhol's personal collection of childhood toys. These works first went on display at an exhibition entitled Paintings for Children at Bischofberger's Zurich gallery in 1983. The works were displayed against a Warhol designed wallpaper of silver fish swimming across a blue background. Each canvas hung at the eye-level of a three to five-year-old child causing adult viewers to crouch or squat to examine them. An entry fee was charged for adults not accompanied by a child under six with the money going to a children's charity. The playful exhibition reflected a childlike freedom of experimentation. Warhol's FIPS Mouse (Wustenspringmaus) is painted in a palette of bold red, turquoise blue and clean white hues as though it should be viewed using 3-D glasses. Other paintings from the series included a drumming panda, an airplane, a parrot, a spaceship, a police car, and a helicopter. The imagery was appropriated from the box covers of vintage and wind-up toys. By focusing on the packaging and not the object, these works reference commercialism and Warhol's earlier work including Campbell's Soup Cans and Brillo Boxes.

Signature: Signed and dated on the overlap: Andy Warhol 83

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Galerie Bischofberger, Zürich (label verso).

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, PA, United States, based in New York, NY, United States