Andy Warhol

"The Nation's Nightmare" (1951)

About this artwork

This provocative linear drawing depicts a young man injecting drugs. It is one of several works that Warhol made relating to the radio programme, ‘The Nation’s Nightmare’ in 1951. A similar drawing to this was printed on the cover of an album of the show and published as a full-page advert in the New York Times – for which Warhol received his first Art Directors Club Medal in 1952. Although employing his blotted-line technique, this work is clearly different from his other commercial drawings of the time. Renowned for quirky illustrations of shoes and handbags, ‘The Nation’s Nightmare’ reveals the darker side of American culture - an aspect which would feature in much of his later work, such as the 'Death and Disaster' series and some of his films of the mid 1960s.

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  • title: "The Nation's Nightmare"
  • accession number: AR00240
  • artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1951
  • measurements: 51.00 x 41.00 x 2.00 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.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

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.