Printed in 1986, Action Picture (F. & S. II.381) is a signed screen print by Andy Warhol that depicts a fight scene in which cowboys and Native Americans are engaged in battle. The print is rendered in a variety of colours against an unidentifiable, plain backdrop. In this dynamic print, figures are captured in action through the use of bright yellow and white lines that delineate the dark figures of the people and horses to accentuate their movement and dynamism. In the centre of the composition, a dark horse appears to be charging towards the viewer, which instantly attracts attention to the centre of the print.
Printed on Lenox Museum Board, Action Picture (F. & S. II.381) is one of ten graphic screen prints that compose the Cowboys And Indians series in which Warhol takes archetypal figures that capture America’s romanticised vision of the American West. Warhol’s source for this print was a painting entitled Breaking Through the Lines by Charles Schreyvogel. It is the only print in the series in which cowboys and Native Americans are depicted together. The image is typical of the kind of action scene that would have dominated a Western film, and Warhol’s playful use of colour thus draws attention to the way popular culture can distort history.
Action Picture (F. & S. II.381) along with the others in the series, was made using Warhol's signature screen printing method. The print differs to the others in the series due to its subject matter, with the other prints depicting famous historical figures such as Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley, or cultural objects, such as the Kachina dolls. This print is therefore one of the most explicit in demonstrating the mythologising of the historic West in America’s collective imagination.