Andy Warhol’s Camouflage Series, 1987

Introduction to Andy Warhol’s Camouflage Series, 1987

The camouflage print dates to early 20th century and was originally created by artists at military request. The versatile print was effective in concealing military equipment and eventually used to create military uniforms. The camouflage began appearing in Warhol’s body of work in 1986. The artist was intrigued by the all-over repetitive pattern which resembled an abstract expressionist painting. Aside from the screenprints, he  created self portraits with the print covering his face, juxtaposing his public persona and his private insecurities. Warhol also collaborated with Stephen Sprouse on a clothing line using the patterns. Unfortunately, Warhol passed away in the midst of this series. This remarkable series would be his last contribution to the pop art.

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in shades of green FS 406

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.406)

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in neutral colors: green, grey, beige, and tan.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.407)

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in bright pink, magenta, red, and orange.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.408)

Andy Warhol, Camouflage 1987 FS 409 screenprint in pink yellow and orange

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.409)

The Making of the 8 Screenprints in the Camouflage Series

The 8 screenprints came to fruition when studio assistant Jay Shriver told Warhol that he was experimenting with a new painting technique by pushing paint through military cloth. Afterwards, Shriver purchased fabric from an army surplus store near Union Station. The artist and his assistant then photographed the fabric sans its original meshing.Warhol wholly embraces a pattern that heavily associated with its utilitarian and military purpose. The prints are colored in psychedelic colors, completely altering the print’s original identity as a disguise. This playful commentary on abstraction is as widely recognized as it is distinct. The series exhibited only once at a group show in New York in 1986.

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in warm shades of pink, purple, and orange.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.410)

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in cool shades of blue, green, and ivory.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.411)

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in yellow, orange, pink, and purple.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.412)

Warhol Camouflage 1987, a screenprint in yellow, orange, and blue.

Andy Warhol, Camouflage, 1987 Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board (F&S.II.413)

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