The Shadows I portfolio by Andy Warhol was a more abstract-like approach he tested out in the 70s as a result of his focus in shadowing in many of his still life portraits. He devoted an entire series, along with subsequent others, on the abstract idea of shadows, using colors to effectively demonstrate this technique. With the help of his assistant, Cutrone, Warhol began mixing colors and screenprinting them to create pieces for Shadows I. Shadows I 205 uses an aubergine purple with parts of carmine red to emphasize the contrast seen in shadows.
Warhol himself never saw all 102 panels of the Shadows suite together. He left no instructions on the order in which to hang them and since the pieces are not numbered, they can be hung at random. Perhaps leaving room for play, he allowed viewers to have a new experience each time the panels are installed. This idea evokes a new concept, which is not seen in any of Warhol’s other works, as most of his pieces, although are made in a series, are meant to hang individually.
Shadows I 205 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Warhol is well known for his images of popular culture and the repetition of those images. Although Shadows I diverts from the traditional mass media objects that Warhol famously painted, the series of shadows illustrates Warhol’s interest in creating works that all bear the same compositional aspects, yet are still able to hold onto their individual uniqueness. The use of black in most of the prints portrays a dark moody feeling throughout the series. MOCA director Philippe Vergne describes Shadows as “the line between the American dream and the American death. They are as dark as they are glamorous.”