frame: 822 x 570 x 38 mm
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Warhol photographed the famous boxer, Muhammad Ali, in 1977 as part of his 'Athletes' series. The project was initiated by the art collector and sports enthusiast Richard Weisman. At first Warhol was unfamiliar with the sports stars but characteristic of his obsession with fame he recalled: “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars”. Warhol captured a powerful shot with the boxer’s fists poised, ready to punch. In the screenprint used here Warhol, prior to printing the image, worked into the surface with paint creating the impression of movement. Ali’s fixated stare mimics the concentration he required during a fight. This poster is for an exhibition of the series at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, 1978.