Truck 367 by Andy Warhol is one of four screenprints from Warhol’s 1985 Truck portfolio. The Truck series was commissioned by the Federal Association of German Long-Distance Freight Transport (Bundesverband des Deutschen Guterfernverkehrs) to honor the twentieth World Congress of the International Road Transportation Union (IRU). The IRU Congress, which is still active to this day, works on economic and eco-conscious solutions for mass transportation within the European Union. Truck 367 was printed by Rupert Jansen Smith in New York, and published by Hermann Wunsche in Bonn, Germany. Although the BDF commissioned the series, Truck directly reflects Warhol’s fascination with industrial society and the the booming postwar economy.
Each image in the Truck portfolio features a semi-truck captured in bold hues. Warhol painted Truck 367 in a bright spectrum of colors, featuring a pallet of yellows, pinks, and cyan green. The semi-truck is bright orange at the front, while the cargo container is a muted grey, and the wheels are deep purple. The truck and the background are further emphasized with cyan green, while the background is a solid bright yellow, and the ground is a vibrant pink shade. Using these vibrant colors, Warhol exhibits his tradition of turning everyday objects into exciting, surreal Pop Art subjects.
By the 1980s, Warhol had total control over the screenprint technique, exploring new methods and ideas. This expertise, along with his assistants (including Rupert Smith, who printed Truck) allowed him to create more extravagant images. Warhol transforms the truck with his signature color blocks and contrasting outlines that add further detail. He created the screenprint through a technique in which he layered various saturated colors. He then placed the translucent image of the truck over multiple-colored backgrounds to create the final print. Truck 367 is similar to the rest of the works a part of the Truck portfolio, with all of the screenprints depicting the same base image. Warhol uses various colors, color blocking, and outlines across each of the four screenprints, making each one unique. There also exists 73 unique trial proofs not in portfolios, signed in pencil and un-numbered.
Truck 367 reflects an accumulation of other works Warhol created prior to the series. The portfolio mirrors the tone of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, Mobil Gas, and Volkswagen (Lemon) screenprints. The Truck portfolio carries Warhol’s recurring influence and theme of commercial imagery and common items that he believed people overlooked. Portraying these ordinary objects in his unique style, he transforms them into works of fine art. Truck 367 reflects Warhol’s classic style and inspiration, as it highlights one of the most important developments of modern industry.
Photo Credit: Andy Warhol’s polaroid titled Mack Truck taken in 1982. Unique gelatin silver print, 8 × 10 in. 20.3 × 25.4 cm. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.