Artwork by Andy Warhol,  The Shadow

Andy Warhol
The Shadow

screenprint on lenox museum board
signed and numbered 9/200 in pencil lower right; stamped “Copyright Andy Warhol 1981, Publisher Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc., New York” on the reverse; Printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, New York
38 x 38 ins ( 96.5 x 96.5 cms )

Auction Estimate: $35,000.00$25,000.00 - $35,000.00

Price Realized $18,530.00
Sale date: September 24th 2015

Martin Lawrence Galleries, San Francisco
Private Collection, New Brunswick
“Warhol Shadows, catalogue of The Menil Collection held at Richmond Hall”, Houston, Texas, 1987
“Andy Warhol Prints, Expanded Edition”, Fraya Feldman and Jorg Schellmann, New York, 1985, page 19
“Andy Warhol Prints, A Catalogue Raisonne 1962-1987”, Fraya Feldman and Claudia Defendi, New York, 2003, pages 31, 122 & 123 (illustrated in colour)
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”, edited by Pat Hackett, New York, 1989
“Andy Warhol: The Late Work”, edited by Mark Francis, concept Mattjis Visser, New York, 2004
Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola, Jr.) was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to working class immigrants from modern day Slovakia. Eventually, he changed his name to Andy Warhol in an effort to anglicize it. Warhol was obsessed with image and celebrity, and is famous for his enigmatic personality. In 1968, there was an assassination attempt on Warhol's life. He was in critical condition after being shot in the chest and never fully recovered. This event profoundly effected his life and art thereafter.

“The Shadow” was officially part of a 1981 series called “Myths,” which included images of well known characters such as Dracula, Mickey Mouse, Superman, and Santa Claus. Warhol's self-portrait was the most obvious suggestion of irony in the series. By using imaginary childhood characters, Warhol used nostalgia to shed light on society's “naive believe in heroes and demons” by raising “crucial questions about the role of the media in shaping cultural values.” “The Shadow” features Warhol's signature Diamond Dust; fine particles of cut of crushed glass, which were applied to the print when wet to give the artwork a sparkling appearance.

By the time Warhol produced the “Myths” series, he was touring extensively, which meant he had less time to devote to creating new artwork. As a result, work of art from this period are comparatively rare. The year “The Shadow” was created, Warhol visited Toronto where he saw the Art Gallery of Ontario's “Gauguin to Moore” exhibit. He wrote in his diary about the experience, his awe for Moore's work, and, as ever, his concerns about his personal appearance. That evening he attended a lavish party in Toronto, but Warhol refused to drink because he worried about his weight gain, from 115 lbs to 119.

Warhol's notorious concern over his image may have motivated his interest in portraiture and self-portraits. He made portraits of famous contemporaries, including the first portrait of artist Joseph Beuys in 1980, and Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982. Possibly his best known self-portrait series, simply titled “Self Portraits,” was made between 1985 and 1986. “The Shadow” is connected to an important part of Warhol's self-exploration and overall artistic practice; a part of a continual thought process.

Another of Warhol's series that helps us understand “Myths” and “The Shadow,” was completed only a few years prior and was similarly titled “Shadows.” It included 102 paintings, 83 of which were exhibited for the opening of the Menil Collection at Richmond Hall in New York. Warhol described it as “one painting with 83 parts,” emphasizing the connectedness of his paintings within his oeuvre. While “The Shadow” is not direct part of the “Shadows” series, there are aspects of each that suggest Warhol made repeated attempts to visually display abstract concepts about mass media, reflection and nostalgia.

In 1982, Warhol created a will, and in 1987 he died suddenly in his sleep from a post-operative cardiac arrhythmia after a routine gall bladder surgery. He was only 59 years old.

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Andy Warhol
(1928 - 1987)