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Andy WARHOLSTYRIA STUDIOS, Mao Tse-Tung REDUCE 1/1


Andy WARHOL

United States of America 1928 – 1987

artist

STYRIA STUDIOS

United States of America born 1970

printer

Mao Tse-Tung 1972 stencil colour screenprint and photo-screenprint
Impression: 162/250
composition 91.6 h x 91.6 w cm
Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.279.4
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS. Licensed by Viscopy

  • Always keen for new subject matter, developments in American foreign policy presented Warhol with a new celebrity. In 1972 President Nixon made his first official trip to China — a country that had been unrecognised by many in the West ever since the Communist Revolution of 1949. There Nixon met the Chinese Communist leader, Chairman Mao Zedong, heralding a new era of diplomacy. This event and the figure of Mao provided a new icon for the artist – someone who was recognisable to millions, and therefore a sure money spinner. This was a serious consideration for an artist always keen to become richer.

    Warhol took his image of Mao from the cover of the Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, produced in millions of copies. He created multiple versions of Mao screenprinted onto canvas of various sizes, which became increasingly painterly. This gestural quality was also evident in the 1972 print version of ten works that feature hand-drawn marks around the head of Mao and unevenly inked colours.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010