Andy Warhol, ‘Mao (FS II.125A)’, 1974, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Mao (FS II.125A)’, 1974, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Mao (FS II.125A)’, 1974, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Mao (FS II.125A)’, 1974, Revolver Gallery

Title: Mao (FS II.125A)
Medium: Screenprint on wallpaper
Year: 1974
Size: 40.125” x 29.5”
Edition: Edition of approximately 100. Signed in felt pen.

MAO (FS II.125A)

Mao Zedong, a Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, is regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history. Although a controversial individual, he is praised for modernizing China and turning it into a world power by promoting the status of women and improving education as well as other accomplishments. This screenprint was published for a Warhol exhibition at the Musée Galliera in Paris, France. Warhol’s fine detail of Mao’s features enables one to identify the prominent figure even with minimal context. The splash of indigo placed on Mao’s face makes it a signature Warhol painting with the pop of color.

MAO (FS II.125A) AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK

After President Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, and the inevitable buzz it created in the press, Andy Warhol was inspired to create a series of prints that would immortalize the image of the Chinese leader, Mao Zedong. Warhol could see a blurry mirror image of US media to Chinese propaganda.There were parallels between the cult like following of movie stars in the West and Mao Zedong in the East. Seeing these in a strange likeness, Warhol produced his Mao series in a fashion reminiscent of his portraits of American celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. These color charged screen prints of Mao were further set apart by the layers of graffiti-like scribbles that were screened on separately, transforming Mao into a world wide pop icon.

Andy Warhol created the Mao series during the early 1970s when he was taking many commissions for celebrities. Celebrity portraits developed into a significant aspect of his career and a main source of income. Other series produced during this time are the Mick Jagger series, Muhammad Ali series and unpublished works of various celebrities such as Truman Capote.

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

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2016
Andy Warhol: Shadows, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao
2015
YES!YES!YES! WARHOLMANIA IN MUNICH, Museum Brandhorst, Munich
2015
Andy Warhol: Little Red Book #178, Frye Art Museum, Seattle
2015
Warhol by the Book, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown
2013
Andy Warhol, Brant Foundation

Solo Shows on Artsy

2016
Andy Warhol: Shadows, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao
2015
YES!YES!YES! WARHOLMANIA IN MUNICH, Museum Brandhorst, Munich
2015
Andy Warhol: Little Red Book #178, Frye Art Museum, Seattle
2015
Warhol by the Book, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown
2014
2014
2013
Andy Warhol, Brant Foundation
2011
Made in Italy, Gagosian, Rome

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Art Basel Miami Beach, Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art LLC, New York
2016
Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Washington
2016
Big Picture: Art After 1945, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
2016
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco
2016
Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2016
MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
View Artist's CV