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Signed Print Edition of 120
H 100cm x W 75cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
One of two images from the Lenin series (1987),Black Lenin (F. & S. II.402) is a signed screen print from a smaller edition of 120. Based on a photograph of Lenin, this frontal half-portrait depicts the Russian revolutionist and dictator gazing downward. He rests his right hand on a book. Lenin’s black suit fades into the black background, drawing the eye to his red face and hand, outlined by blue and magenta detailing in around his eyes, ears, and beard.
Andy Warhol began creating screen prints of celebrities in the 1960s with his famous Marilyn Monroe prints. While his late-career Lenin series strikes a different tone than an image of Ingrid Bergman or Elizabeth Taylor, it still represents Warhol’s obsession with celebrity at its core. Like many other celebrity prints, draws on key features of Lenin’s appearance: his iconic pointed beard and bald head. Like in his images of the Electric Chair or Chairman Mao, Lenin is almost removed from his political context here, becoming just another reproduced image.
The Lenin series was the last that Warhol completed before his death in February 1987.