Map of Eastern U.S.S.R. Missile Bases
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Map of Eastern U.S.S.R. Missile Bases 1985 - 1986
  • Artist Rooms
During the mid 1980s Warhol returned to the newspaper adverts that had informed his paintings of the early 1960s. He created a group of works called 'Ads and Illustrations' that differed from his photographic screenprints and highly stylised images of celebrities. They are mostly black and white and were created by tracing the original adverts by hand, which creates a looser, graphic quality. During the 1980s the U.S.A. was still in the depths of the Cold War. Within this context three themes emerge in these paintings: war, death and religion. This work directly relates to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 ‘Evil Empire Speech’, in which he called for a “Strategic Defence Initiative” to “defend America from Soviet Missiles”.

Glossary Open

Cold War

The Cold War was an era of intense rivalry, tension and conflict (short of a full-scale war) between the United States of America and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). It emerged in the 1940s following World War II and lasted until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With both superpowers engaged in military coalitions and an arms race, the threat of nuclear warfare was ever present.


Art forms, usually on paper, where the emphasis is on expression through line, mark-making or lettering rather than colour. This includes drawing, printmaking and typography.


A print made by forcing ink through a screen on which a stencil is placed. Traditionally used for commercial printing, it has been taken up by artists since the 1960s when it was used extensively in Pop art.

Cold War, Graphic, Screenprint


  • Acc. No. AR00235
  • Medium Acrylic paint and silkscreen on canvas
  • Size 183.00 x 203.20 x 3.20 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008