On the heals of celebrating what would have been Andy Warhol’s 90th birthday in August, the celebration continues with Andy Warhol: Shadows, on view at Calvin Klein New York Headquarters, October 26, and topping it all off with Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again ~ the first Warhol retrospective organized by a U.S. institution since 1989, at The Whitney Museum of American Art.
This exhibition reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, this exhibition reveals new complexities about the Warhol we think we know, and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century.
The exhibition positions Warhol’s career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn’t slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The show illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of ready made abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons, anticipating the profound effects and issues of the current digital age.
“Perhaps more than any artist before or since, Andy Warhol understood America’s defining twin desires for innovation and conformity, public visibility and absolute privacy,” noted Donna De Salvo. “He transformed these contradictory impulses into a completely original art that, I believe, has profoundly influenced how we see and think about the world now. Warhol produced images that are now so familiar, it’s easy to forget just how unsettling and even shocking they were when they debuted. He pioneered the use of an industrial silkscreen process as a painterly brush to repeat images ‘identically’, creating seemingly endless variations that call the very value of our cultural icons into question. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery anticipated the most profound effects and issues of our current digital age, when we no longer know which images to trust. From the 1950s until his death, Warhol challenged our fundamental beliefs, particularly our faith in images, even while he sought to believe in those images himself. Looking in this exhibition at the full sweep of his career makes it clear that Warhol was not just a 20th century titan but a seer of the 21st century as well.”
Related programming include thirty-five of Warhol’s now iconic but rarely screened films, all shown in their original 16mm format.
This is the largest monographic exhibition to date at the Whitney’s new location, with more than 350 works of art, many assembled together for the first time. Occupying the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, the adjacent Kaufman Gallery, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Lobby Gallery, the Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater, Andy Warhol-From A to B and Back Again will be the largest exhibition devoted to a single artist yet to be presented in the Whitney’s downtown location.
The exhibition is organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, with Christie Mitchell, curatorial assistant, and Mark Loiacono, curatorial research associate.
In a related event, catch the DiaTalk on Saturday, December 1st ~ Donna De Salvo on Andy Warhol, at Calvin Klein NYC ~ free and open to the public.
Andy Warhol ~ From A to B and Back Again will be on view from November 12, 2018 to March 31, 2019 at Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, adjacent to the High Line, in the Meatpacking District
An exhibition catalogue is also available and can be pre-ordered here.
Running concurrently with Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again at Whitney Museum will be Andy Warhol’s Shadows, leaving Calvin Klein NYC Headquarters, traveling to The Dia: Beacon, reopening as a long-term installation.