Shadows III 218 is an original print that exemplifies the characteristics of the Shadows III portfolio. Andy Warhol said, “Someone asked me if I thought they were art and I said no…disco décor.” Playing on this idea, it seemed that Warhol felt as if this series was reminiscent of wallpaper more so than high art, which was exemplified when he later staged a fashion shoot with his Shadows III series as the backdrop.
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 III 218 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Warhol’s Shadows III series is a direct continuation of the first and second portfolios as it features similar compositional imagery and color schemes. This piece was just one of many that Warhol created from a shadowy photograph in his studio. Although Warhol undermined the artistic quality of this series, many viewers felt that the cumulative effect of the numerous prints hung together was powerful and truly something new. This series, created in the last decade of Warhol’s life, marks a shift in Warhol’s artistry from his earlier Pop Art works of mass-produced objects and glamorous celebrities to this mysterious abstract art that defined his later career.