Andy Warhol’s Hans Christian Andersen complete portfolio I is a series of four screenprints, three of which include a paper cut-out style based on characters from Andersen’s fairy tales. Andy Warhol was inspired by Andersen’s unique characters, which is why he devoted most of this portfolio to them, with only one portrait of the author himself. This series, completed in 1987, was printed by Rupert Jasen Smith in New York and published by Art Expo Danmark, Odense, Denmark.
The Hans Christian Andersen complete portfolio I is one of the last series that Warhol completed before his death later that year, along with Beethoven, Lenin, Moonwalk and Camouflage. Hans Christian Andersen and Beethoven mark a shift in Warhol’s work, in which he used darker background colors to occupy blank space and more simplistic representations of his subjects. During this period, Warhol’s artistic muses shifted from famous contemporary celebrities to obscure subjects of the past, like Andersen and Beethoven.
The minimalistic yet eye-catching portfolio of Andersen is a testament to the diversity of Warhol’s oeuvre, and it is one of the most interesting series to get a look into the mind of Warhol at the end of his career. The complete Hans Christian Andersen complete portfolio I includes FS II.394-399 and was posthumously stamped in black on verso.