Andy Warhol’s unpublished work can be divided into three parts: Personal Projects, Commissioned Projects, and Portraits. Given the wide scope of Warhol’s creativity and experimentation, usually resulted in unique prints that were not released as editions. Most of the works created in the mid-1970s to 1987 are unique since Warhol explored color and compositional variations during proofing.
Personal Projects records prints from 1967 through 1986 created as gifts and for unrealized proposals, as well as those inspired by paintings. Many were given to friends, clients and colleagues as holiday gifts. The Only Way Out Is In was based on a newspaper advertisement and were intended as presents, there are no known paintings on this subject. Others were inspired by regular edition prints which were published at approximately the same time. Most are unique and were often printed on different supports and vary in size from the edition prints. In several instances, the proofing process was so extensive and experimental that more unique prints were produced than were required for a traditional commission proposal like Flower for Tacoma Dome.
Warhol was often inspired by his commissions to create other prints for his own use. Two hundred fifty uniform copies of Sitting Bull were printed to be part of the Cowboys and Indians portfolio but were later replaced by another subject. This print was based on an archival photograph, there are no known paintings of this subject.
Prints in circulation prior to Warhol’s death in 1987, given to friends, colleagues, clients or to those who proposed commissions, may be signed or signed and dedicated . Those remaining in the artist’s estate are usually unsigned and bear an inventory number, the initials of a representative of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and are stamped The Estate of Andy Warhol or The Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Commissioned Projects lists prints from 1967 through 1986 made on commission for magazines, books, record covers, posters, wine labels and advertising and promotional campaigns primarily during the1980s for commercial purposes. Each is unique. The broad range of these works reflects his avid interest in advertising and celebrity images, which began in the 1950s and continued throughout his career. The Tomato Soup Can was created at approximately the same time as the 1979-80 Reversal series of paintings. Double Hamburger was based on a food wrapper.
Portraits documents prints from 1967 through 1986, which primarily relate to commissioned paintings during the 1970s and1980s. Most are again unique. Warhol was the first artist for whom there was literally no difference between his work in painting and printmaking, except the material used to support the image. Warhol used the same screens on canvas as he used on paper. The subjects range from artists like Georgia O’Keefe to political figures like Chairman Mao .
The finished print was based on a photograph on the cover of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and was created at approximately the same time as the 1979-1980 Reversal series of paintings.
In addition, there is a selection of self-portraits executed between 1967 and 1982. Although Warhol often took his own photographs of each subject, publicity skills were used for some portraits.
Mona Lisa was part of a series and is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s 1503-06 painting Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. It was created at approximately the same time as the 1979-80 Reversal series of paintings.