About this artwork
Warhol showed a great deal of interest in the Chinese political situation in 1971: “I have been reading so much about China. They’re so nutty. They don’t believe in creativity. The only picture they ever have is of Mao Zedong. It’s great. It looks like a silkscreen”. The following year he created a portrait of the communist leader based on a photograph from his famous Little Red Book – ‘The thoughts of Chairman Mao’. Like many of his 1970s portraits, Warhol’s Mao paintings are much more painterly than his Pop works of the 1960s with strong, colourful brushwork clearly visible. This poster is for a Warhol exhibition at the Hokin Gallery, Chicago. The show opened in 1977, the year the Cultural Revolution in China officially ended following Mao’s death in 1976.
- title: MAO
- accession number: AR00331
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- date created: 1977
- measurements: 94.00 x 61.00
- 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.