Andy Warhol, ‘Skull (FS II.158)’, 1976, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Skull (FS II.158)’, 1976, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Skull (FS II.158)’, 1976, Revolver Gallery


Part of Andy Warhol’s Skulls series, Skull 158 is one of four screenprints created with vivid colors that stands in contrast to the photographic image of a human skull resting on a flat surface which this image rendures. Based on a photograph taken by Warhol’s assistant, this print is an example of Warhol’s play and interest with light, using photography as a way to experiment its relationship to an object. He angled the Skull in such a way to accentuate the forehead and cheekbone, while the eye sockets and chin recesses are deep in shadow.


Andy Warhol’s Skulls series represents the important shift in Warhol’s work, possibly influenced by being critically shot in 1968, an event which profoundly affected his life and art. Historically in art, the human skull represented the theme “vanitas” knows as mortality or the shortness of life. It suggested that the skull is simply a motif; a part of Warhol’s desire to evoke the human condition. Working with assistants thought out his career, Warhol was able to create multiple prints of a similar subject. Skull (FS II.158) is an example of that in which its subject resembles other parts in its series. The Skull series vary in print (canvas, linen or paper), color combinations, and the level of individual vibrancy.

Signature: signed and numbered in pencil lower center

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