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Andy Warhol - Shadows F.S. IV 222 jpg
Andy Warhol - Shadows_FS II.222
Andy Warhol Shadows IV Complete Portfolio size comparison image. All 2 prints on the wall next to silhouettes of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgewick.

Shadows IV 222

Catalogue Title: Shadows IV (FS II.222)

Year: 1979

Size: 43” x 30 1/2”

Medium: Screenprint with diamond dust on Arches 88 paper.

Edition: Edition of 10. Signed and numbered in pencil on verso.

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Shadows IV 222 by Andy Warhol is a print from the Shadows IV portfolio and part of Warhol’s larger Shadows project. Composed of pink and black, this original print exemplifies the moody, abstract characteristics of the Shadows IV portfolio and the greater Shadows series. Warhol published Shadows in 1979 in collaboration with his “master” printer Rupert Jasen Smith. The collection was exhibited that same year at the Heiner Freidrich gallery in New York.

Of the Shadows portfolio, Warhol said, “Someone asked me if I thought they were art and I said no… disco décor.” Playing on this idea, it seems that Warhol felt as if this series was reminiscent of wallpaper more so than high art—perhaps appropriate for gracing the walls of a disco club like Studio 54. He exemplified this feeling when he later used the Shadows for the backdrop of a fashion shoot.

According to previous MOCA director Philippe Vergne, Warhol never saw all 102 pieces of Shadows together. He intentionally left no instructions on the order in which to hang them and the pieces are not numbered; they are meant to 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 organized into portfolios, can be appropriately hung individually.

The Shadows IV 222 screenprint, as well as other works from the portfolio, include the use of diamond dust. Warhol also used diamond dust in Double Mickey Mouse, Shoes, and Grapes, as he was inspired to do so by Rupert Jasen Smith who used the technique before in his own work.

Warhol’s complete Shadows collection includes Shadows I (FS II.204-209), Shadows II (FS II.210-215), Shadows III (FS II.216-221), Shadows IV (FS II.222-223) and Shadows V (FS II.224-225).

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