Franz Kafka (F. & S. II.226)

Franz Kafka (F. & S. II.226)
Signed Print

Andy Warhol

Screenprint, 1980
Signed Print Edition of 200
H 113cm x W 91cm

Critical Review

Franz Kafka is depicted in Warhol’s characteristic late graphic style as he merges elements of realism with abstraction. Taking a well-known photograph of Kafka, Warhol uses blue hues to flood the sitters face and blue geometric shapes layered on the surface. Set against a stark black backdrop, hand-drawn, crayon-like lines are used to accentuate Kafka’s features, providing the portrait with a graphic quality. Franz Kafka is typical of Warhol’s exploration into the tensions between photographic representation and abstraction through the screen print method.

Displaying a subtlety and sophistication in Warhol’s technical advancement of the screen print method, the abstraction of Kafka’s original photograph charges the portrait with new meaning. Warhol’s use of vivid, flattened colours that allude to the notion of abstraction transport the sitter into from the past into present, working to create a 1980s Pop Art icon.

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