Andy Warhol in Moscow
Andy Warhol (1928–1987) was one of the leaders of the American Pop Art movement. For those of us brought up in America or Western Europe, his work needs no introduction. The Pop Art movement and Andy Warhol’s work in particular has had a strong influence on design in advertising. Like it or not, we have all been affected by Pop Art.
Pop Art movements broke the hegemony of Abstract Expressionism that occupied center stage in Europe and America in the 1950’s to 1960’s. Pop Art melted the edges between high and low art, and confronted institutional art with everyday objects such as Heinz baked bean tins or photos of Marilyn Monroe.
Andy Warhol had a lifelong interest in fame, and this shows through in many of his works. Warhol seemed to believe that popular culture has been reduced to Hollywood and media-produced images, ready to be promoted and exaggerated endlessly in order to survive. The Pop and media role was summarized with Warhol’s famous quotation: “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”.
The exhibition covers four decades of Warhol’s career by focusing on the four decades of his artistic activity – the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Highlights include: archival photographs and artworks from Warhol’s working-class Pittsburgh upbringing to his early success as a commercial artist in 1950’s New York; an examination of Warhol’s famous “Silver Factory” of the 1960’s as a focus for artistic production; a look at Warhol’s involvement in the New York social scene of the 1970’s and the rise of Interview magazine; and Warhol’s artistic re-invigoration in the 1980’s.
This section of the exhibition takes an in-depth look at Warhol’s career-long interest in portraiture. Highlights include: Warhol’s Double Elvis (1963), Ladies and Gentlemen (1975) and portraits of Jackie Kennedy, Ethel Scull, Natalie Wood, Mick Jagger and others; an explanation of Warhol’s silk screening process through a series of Marilyn Monroe prints and paintings; an introduction to Warhol’s filmmaking through his 4-minute film portraits, Screen Tests, featuring Nico, Marcel Duchamp and others; and a collection of Warhol’s numerous self-portraits.
This section will look at how Warhol extended and re-imagined the art historical tradition of still-life painting to reflect his own times. Highlights include: Warhol’s Campbell’s soup paintings and prints, Coca-Cola paintings, Hammer & Sickles, Flowers, still-life drawings from the 1950’s, and brand and logo work from the 1980’s; Warhol’s important early films, Eat (1964), Poor Little Rich Girl (1965) and Sunset (1967); and a recreation of a popular 2004 exhibition at The Warhol that explores Warhol’s fascination with the telephone.