Increasingly preoccupied with the ethereal notion of the shadow in the mid-1970s, Andy Warhol would go on to create one of his most important series of abstract paintings, which were created by silkscreening photographs of shadows onto canvas. According to Ronnie Cutrone, under Warhol's direction, cardboard maquettes were arranged under raking light and then photographed providing the artist with formal abstract source images created under artificial conditions, likely in order to further his experimentation and exploration of abstraction in art. In his Shadows, it is impossible to discern the represented object, and in fact, Warhol is turning the notion of representative art on its head by concealing more than he is revealing to the viewer.
Unique within Andy Warhol's body of work, the Shadow series stands apart as the only series in which the artist created a picture of something that was not physically there. The shadow after all exists as an image and yet is intangible, and while an unexpected and humourous foray in to abstraction, the Shadow series is ultimately a more profound investigation into the nature of art and representation.