Fish Wallpaper IIIA.39 by Andy Warhol is one of the four unpublished prints that the artist created of the fish. The fish wallpaper was designed to be the background of Warhol’s “Paintings for Children” exhibit at the Bruno Bischofberger Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland from December 1983 to January 1984. In addition to this monochromatic wallpaper, Warhol also created colorful screenprints of the fish on hot pressed paper, as well as a print of the image on a scarf. The origins of the short-lived fish symbol in Warhol’s work are not known; however, a large portion of the art at the exhibit included paintings of animals.
Fish Wallpaper IIIA.39 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
In 1983, Andy Warhol’s Zurich art dealer, Bruno Bischofberger, asked him to make a series of paintings for children. Warhol created his Toy Paintings and chose inspiration from his own collection of fish, monkeys, dogs, pandas and more. The paintings were hung at eye-level so children ages 3 to 5 could easily see the backdrop of Warhol’s Fish Wallpaper. The wallpaper transformed the gallery walls into an aquarium-like environment. The playful exhibition reflected children’s freedom of experimentation and captured the overall sense of a child’s world.