National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of A Boy for Meg Andy Warhol (artist)
American, 1928 - 1987
A Boy for Meg, 1962
oil on canvas
overall: 182.9 x 132.1 cm (72 x 52 in.) framed: 184.5 x 133.7 cm (72 5/8 x 52 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine
(C) 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
1971.87.11
Not on View
From the Tour: Selections from the Modern and Contemporary Collections
Object 6 of 8

In 1960 Andy Warhol began making the paintings of comic strips, newspaper advertisements, and mass-produced items that would quickly earn him the reputation as a leader of the new Pop movement. The straightforward depiction of these banal subjects became a hallmark of his style, one that marked a substantial departure from the heavily worked surfaces of many abstract expressionist canvases.

Early in 1962 the artist created a number of paintings that reproduce the front pages of newspapers. Lifting this ready-made imagery wholesale from its source, Warhol replicated the close-up photos and dramatic headlines of the tabloid, here announcing the birth of Princess Margaret's son. Designed for immediate accessibility and maximum dramatic impact, the tabloid format also provided the artist with a tightly organized, rectilinear structure. The reproductive nature of the subject and the generalized treatment of the imagery, rendered with a minimum of detail, belie the fact that the canvas was painted by hand.

A Boy for Meg capitalizes on a national obsession with the lives of celebrities, whether members of the royal family or popular personalities such as Frank Sinatra, and foreshadows the silkscreened depictions of celebrities that the artist would commence later the same year.

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