Focusing on severely blurred abstraction, this body of work synthesises key elements of Warhol’s practice, including film, painting, photography and screen printing.
In 1978 Warhol, aged 50, painted 102 paintings repeatedly looking at an unidentifiable mysterious source of hazy abstract shadow and juxtaposed the dark with contrasting light and colour.
The backgrounds of the Shadows paintings were painted with a sponge mop, leaving streaks, trails and thickness inconsistencies.
These paintings were exhibited at the Heiner Friedrich Gallery in 1979 and each canvas curated sitting snuggly next to each other as though they were all linked to be one artwork and creating an immersive experience.
The Shadows prints series was published the same year as the Heiner Friedrich Gallery exhibition - the five portfolios include Shadows I, Shadows II, Shadows III, Shadows IV and Shadows V.
Each portfolio comprised of a unique set of screen prints printed in colour with diamond dust on Arches 88 paper which were printed and published in small print runs.This was the second time that Warhol published a major body of work with diamond dust. The first time had been with Grapes where he included the diamond dust in the appendix page.
The significance of what he managed to achieve in Shadows by layering it on top of the screen prints meant that he could compliment the subject of light and shadow using a material which captured just what he was trying to literally present in abstract form.
Selling for a total of US$7.7 million (£3.7 million) at Sotheby's New York in November 2007, Shadow painting from 1979 became the most expensive of this group of works to date.
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