(1928 - 1987)
Screenprint on paper
36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm)
Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Gift of Stanley Davis
Andy Warhol added Mao Tse-Tung to the celebrities he featured in his work when President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 drew attention to the country’s leader. These portraits are from a portfolio of ten screen prints of Mao that Warhol created that year. All are based on the image used as the frontispiece of Mao’s The Little Red Book, a compilation of his quotations. The dramatically different colors and gestural marks applied over and around Mao’s face gives each print a distinctive presence. Warhol subsequently portrayed Mao in paintings, prints and drawings, as well as on wallpaper, certainly appreciating the irony of commodifying the Communist icon.