Russell Means (1979)
About this artwork
This poster features a screenprinted portrait of the first director of the American Indian Movement, Russell Means. Best known for his activities in promoting the rights of American Indians in the 1970s, he gained wide recognition in 1973 for leading the takeover of the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee. This was symbolic, as it was at the centre of a massacre of the Sioux (Native Americans) by the U.S. Army in 1890. The early 1970s saw Warhol paint both people he admired, such as Means, and commissioned portraits of the rich and famous. Although he depicts Means in traditional dress - an acknowledgement of his roots - it has been noted that the ‘Pop’ treatment trivialises to some degree the significance of Means’s activities and the importance of his objectives.
- title: Russell Means
- accession number: AR00423
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Lithograph on paper
- date created: 1979
- measurements: 83.70 x 59.20 cm (framed: 90.50 x 66.00 x 3.80 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.