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Gallery Goer

Andy Warhol in Moscow

Andy Warhol (19281987) 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 Warhols 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 1950s to 1960s. 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 Warhols famous quotation: In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.

The exhibition covers four decades of Warhols career by focusing on the four decades of his artistic activity the 1950s through the 1980s. Highlights include: archival photographs and artworks from Warhols working-class Pittsburgh upbringing to his early success as a commercial artist in 1950s New York; an examination of Warhols famous Silver Factory of the 1960s as a focus for artistic production; a look at Warhols involvement in the New York social scene of the 1970s and the rise of Interview magazine; and Warhols artistic re-invigoration in the 1980s.

This section of the exhibition takes an in-depth look at Warhols career-long interest in portraiture. Highlights include: Warhols Double Elvis (1963), Ladies and Gentlemen (1975) and portraits of Jackie Kennedy, Ethel Scull, Natalie Wood, Mick Jagger and others; an explanation of Warhols silk screening process through a series of Marilyn Monroe prints and paintings; an introduction to Warhols filmmaking through his 4-minute film portraits, Screen Tests, featuring Nico, Marcel Duchamp and others; and a collection of Warhols 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: Warhols Campbells soup paintings and prints, Coca-Cola paintings, Hammer & Sickles, Flowers, still-life drawings from the 1950s, and brand and logo work from the 1980s; Warhols 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 Warhols fascination with the telephone.





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