Printed in 1985, The New Spirit (Donald Duck) (F. & S. II.357) is a screen print by Andy Warhol depicting an image of Donald Duck originating from an animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1942.
Printed on Lenox Museum Board, this dynamic print is rendered in bold and saturated colours, characteristic of Warhol’s iconic Pop Art style. Donald Duck is captured in movement, marching across the print, in front of a repeated series of four other Donalds, adding to the sense of dynamism in this image. Warhol’s use of organic and gestural lines in blue and green delineate Donald Duck’s figure and mark an evolution in Warhol’s screen printing from the ‘machine-like’ aesthetic of his earlier prints such as the Campbell’s Soup series.
The New Spirit (Donald Duck) (F. & S. II.357) is part of the Ads series, produced by Warhol two years before his death. Like many of the prints in the Ads series, Warhol used this image to comment on the impact of mass media in capitalist America. The short film, The New Spirit, from which this image originates was a wartime propaganda film encouraging American citizens to pay their income tax. It was the first film created as part of Walt Disney’s World War II propaganda production. Using a highly saturated colour palette, Warhol transforms this image of Donald Duck from a propaganda film made 42 years ago into a1980s pop icon.