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
During the mid 1980s Warhol returned to the newspaper adverts that had informed his paintings of the early 1960s. He created a group of works called ‘Ads and Illustrations’ that differed from his photographic screenprints and highly stylised images of celebrities. They are mostly black and white and were created by tracing the original adverts by hand, which creates a looser, graphic quality. During the 1980s the U.S.A. was still in the depths of the Cold War. Within this context three themes emerge in these paintings: war, death and religion. In this diptych Warhol depicts a hand cradling a symbol resembling that of nuclear power. This representation suggests the threat of nuclear warfare during the Cold War, with control lying in the hands of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.