Daily Pic: Some of the 102 “Shadows” completed by Andy Warhol in 1978, as seen in a grand sweep along the curved walls of the Hirshhorn Museum, where they’re on loan from the Dia Art Foundation. The canvases are apparently based on photos of the shadows cast by random objects in Warhol’s studio. An assistant once said they were Warhol’s attempt at abstraction, and Warhol playfully referred to them as his disco decor. But when I recently encountered them en masse at the Hirshhorn, they seemed to throb with content.
More than anything, they felt cinematic to me, and forensic, like the Zapruder footage of JFK’s death. I read them as a record of abstract art’s passing. (For a much longer analysis, see the version of my Daily Pic at www.thedailybeast.com/daily-pic.)