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Despite being one of his rare still life studies, Warhol’s Space Fruit portfolios from 1979 depict oranges and lemons in a style that can only be his. It includedSpace Fruit: Lemons and Space Fruit: Orange, in 1979 a portfolio called Space Fruit Still Lifes representing further still life images of fruits were also produced. Still lifes are remarkable within Warhol’s oeuvre for their rarity as the artist is better known for his pop culture imagery, iconography from movies and advertising.
Space Fruit: Lemons and Space Fruit: Orange are works printed in colour and published as a small limited edition of 10 and one printer’s proof on Strathmore Bristol paper made from cotton. The Space Fruit: Still lifes portfolio consisted of six screen prints in colour which Warhol chose to print on Strathmore Bristol paper once again. Each print from the portfolio was signed and numbered from a limited edition of 150 plus one printer’s proof with another 30 numbered in Roman numerals on Lenox Museum Board.
Warhol initially placed his images of fruits against a white background and used concentrated light aimed at the subjects with various angles to intensify and play with shadow, composition and the intensity of colour. This approach was then photographed and used as a reference when creating the screen prints.
The son of Slovakian immigrants born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Warhol became the founder and a leading advocate of the Pop Art movement in the United States from the early 1960s to the end of his career. His understanding and relationship with the reproduced image were the basis for his astounding success. In the visual culture of the time, with movies, advertising and celebrity booming, Warhol drew attention to these defining images of American culture. Andy Warhol once said that “I guess I’ve been influenced by everybody. But that’s good. That’s Pop”.