Letter To The World is a print from Andy Warhol’s Martha Graham Series from 1986, depicting a portrait of the distinguished dancer Martha Graham. This composition uses a photograph of Graham taken by Barbara Morgan in 1940 as its source material, repeating and offsetting the image across the pictorial plane to create a dynamic quality that imitates the figure’s energetic movement.
The print shows Graham performing one of her iconic choreographic motifs from the ballet of the same name, with her body titled forwards and her leg in the air. Recalled as one of the most famous dancers in the world, Graham influenced the performing arts of the 20th century and was an apt subject through which Warhol could explore the mechanism of fame.
This print is characteristic of Warhol’s screen printing style in the latter part of his career.The composition is divided into two colour fields of bright pink and dark blue, and each figure is rendered in Warhol’s organic, graphic linear style to stand out illuminated against the colourful backdrop. Graham’s unrivalled ability to portray profound emotion through physical movement is perfectly captured by Warhol in his use of line, colour and form, marking a diversion from his traditional screen printing method.