Andy Warhol

Skulls

About this artwork

After he was shot and critically injured in 1968, Warhol became even more obsessed with the theme of death than he had been previously. The skull, a traditional symbol of mortality, is repeated six times, with the impenetrable darkness of the hollow eye sockets echoed in each image. The shadow cast by the skull resembles a baby’s profile, although whether this was intentional is unknown as Warhol did not take the photograph that the screenprint is based on. It seems unlikely, however, that this effective combination of both life and death would escape Warhol’s sharp gaze. In contrast to the sinister subject, the colours are vibrant. Perhaps Warhol is attempting to acknowledge that death is not something to be feared but instead, should be accepted as part of life.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
    Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
  • title:
    Skulls
  • date created:
    1976
  • materials:
    Acrylic paint and silkscreen on 6 canvases
  • measurements:
    Six parts, each: 38.30 x 48.30 x 1.80 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    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
  • accession number:
    AR00609
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol