Portrait of Joseph Beuys (1980)
About this artwork
Portraits were central to Warhol's work, as he was obsessed with fame and with icons. If someone wasn't already famous he could immortalise them in one of his unique and instantly recognisable portraits. He made a series of portraits of artists, including this one of German artist Joseph Beuys. Beuys was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. Both artists shared an understanding and mastery of the news media, although they used it in different ways. Beuys had an ambivalent attitude towards America, in contrast to Warhol's celebration of popular culture.
- title: Portrait of Joseph Beuys
- accession number: AR00587
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- depicted: Joseph Beuys
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Painting
- subject: Visual arts
- date created: 1980
- measurements: 50.80 x 41.00 x 2.30 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2016.
Andy Warhol was born 'Andrew Warhola' to Slovakian immigrant parents living in Pittsburgh in America. Warhol's subject matter was taken from popular culture, in the form of advertising, comics, magazines and packaging. He was able to produce his works quickly by transferring images onto canvas or paper through photography and screenprinting, sometimes with the help of assistants. Warhol stated that he wanted to make works that showed no trace of having been produced by hand. His interest in mass production reflected the fast-developing consumer culture he recognised in America. His New York studio, 'The Factory,' became a popular meeting place for artists, drop-outs, celebrities and bands.