Andy Warhol, Mao 97, 1972

Artist: Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987)
Title:Mao, 1972
Reference:FS II.97
Series:Mao Portfolio, 1972
Medium:Color Screenprint on Beckett High White Paper
Image Size:36 in x 36 in (91.4 cm x 91.4 cm)
Sheet Size:36 in x 36 in (91.4 cm x 91.4 cm)
Edition:Numbered from an edition of 250 in ball-point pen on verso. There are 50 AP signed and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso, some signed and numbered in ball-point pen. Each print is unique; published by Castelli Graphics and Multiples, Inc., New York; printed by Styria Studio, Inc., New York.
Signature:This work is hand signed by Andy Warhol (Pennsylvania, 1928 – New York, 1987) in ball-point pen on verso.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-6887

Historical Description

Andy Warhol’s Mao 97 (1972) is a relatively naturalistic image of the Chinese leader. Unlike  Warhol’s typical employment of flamboyant colors, Mao’s peach complexion in this work is potentially true to life. Upon closer look, however, the viewer makes eye contact with the leader’s yellow eyes. Vaguely animalistic, Mao’s outward gaze becomes off-putting and oppressive. The yellow of his eyes is echoed in the background, only emphasizing his relentless stare. Though more subtle than other Mao portraits in Andy Warhol’s Mao screenprint portfolio, Warhol’s Mao 97 has a strongly disquieting effect.

Andy Warhol’s Mao screenprint portfolio appropriates the official portrait of Mao Zedong, the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China. Warhol was inspired by the portrait’s similarity to silkscreen and its ubiquity—Mao’s portrait was known to every Chinese person and could be seen throughout China in both public and private spaces. The Mao portfolio, made up of ten different versions of Mao’s portrait, evokes the propagandistic use of the image in China. Interestingly, Warhol treats Mao’s image in the same manner that he treats his portraits of Western celebrities. Mao’s cult of personality mirrored the cult-like followings of Western celebrities, and Warhol’s decision to treat Mao’s portrait in the same manner as icons such as Marilyn Monroe frames the Chinese leader as a pop icon. Warhol exposes the similarity between Western and Eastern adoration of individuals and the mass dissemination of their images, and his use of outrageous coloring examines fame in its multiple forms.

Created in 1972, Andy Warhol’s Mao 97 is a color screenprint on Lenox Museum Board and is hand signed in ballpoint pen on verso. It is a unique work of an edition of 250, published by Castelli Graphics and Multiples, Inc., New York and printed by Styria Studio, Inc., New York.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
Andy Warhol, Mao 97, from Mao screenprint portfolio is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).

1. Feldman, Frayda and Jörg Schellmann. Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962 – 1987, 4th Ed. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., 2003. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. II.97.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

About the Framing:
Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Andy Warhol’s Mao 97, 1972 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

Subject Matter: $76k+ Contemporary