Andy Warhol American

Not on view

In 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to China to meet Chairman Mao Zedong, ending years of diplomatic isolation between the two nations. This historic event captured the imagination of Warhol, who, between 1972 and 1973, created 199 silkscreen paintings of Mao in five scales. An extension of his fascination with celebrity, the Mao paintings utilize Warhol’s characteristic silkscreen process to transfer to canvas one of the most recognized portraits in the world: the photograph of Mao reproduced throughout China during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). As interpreted by Warhol, these works, with their repeated image painted in flamboyant colors and with expressionistic marks, may suggest a parallel between political propaganda and capitalist advertising.

Mao, Andy Warhol (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1928–1987 New York), Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas

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