Thursday, August 02, 2007

Major Warhol Show Marks 20th Anniversary

Major Warhol Show Marks 20th Anniversary

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Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Dolly Parton, 1985, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 cm.) The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © AWF.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.-Andy Warhol is a major exhibition which is part of the Bank of Scotland totalArt series, which marks the 20th anniversary of the artist’s death in New York in 1987, and opens at the National Gallery Complex in Edinburgh on 4 August 2007. The exhibition has attracted the biggest ever sponsorship of modern art in Scotland from the Bank of Scotland.

Bank of Scotland totalART Andy Warhol is the first in a series of two major modern art exhibitions at the National Gallery Complex featuring Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys. Bank of Scotland will invest over £400,000 in the programme over the next two years.

The exhibition will be the most comprehensive show dedicated to the work of the artist in Scotland and will be arranged on both floors at the National Galleries of Scotland’s world-renowned temporary exhibition space in the centre of Edinburgh. The exhibition aims to show how a life/death duality runs through all of Warhol’s work.

The show will present a broad range of Warhol’s work from the early 1950s to 1986 in a wide range of media – painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, film, photography and installation. Many of the works are being lent by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and there will also be loans from other museums and private collections in Britain and Europe.

Special displays will be dedicated to ‘Marilyn, Liz, Jackie and Elvis’, ‘Portraits of the 1970s and 1980s’, ‘Consumer Products’, ‘Death and Disaster’, ‘Skulls’, ‘Stitched Photographs’, and ‘War, Death and Religion’.

The important installation Silver Clouds (1966) - a room of floating silver-coloured helium balloons - will be included in the display and a number of Time Capsules and Screen Tests are among the many works on loan from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. There will be a special recreation of Warhol's 1983 Zurich exhibition. Paintings for Children, with artworks hung at child's eye level. The Edinburgh College of Art will present a programme of films by and on Warhol and the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, will show a special exhibition of 125 original posters by Warhol covering exhibitions, films and advertising from 1964 to 1988.

The exhibition in Scotland is one of a number of worldwide events dedicated to the artist throughout 2007-2008. Highlights include the screening of Andy Warhol’s first film Sleep (1963) at Tate Modern in London as part of The UBS Long Weekend. The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA is planning a number of special events and The Warhol Foundation will publish a special 20th anniversary report on the activities of the Foundation.

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) is one of the seminal artists of the twentieth century. The recent sale of his 1963 painting Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) from his Death and Disaster series set a new record for the artist at auction when it was sold for $71.7 million at Christies in New York on 16 May 2007. The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is lending the white version of this painting, White Burning Car III, to the Edinburgh exhibition.

Born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Warhol showed an interest in photography and drawing from a young age, attending free classes at Carnegie Institute. He studied pictorial design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Melon University) 1945 – 1949. He moved to New York in 1949 and throughout the 1950s, enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Directors Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. His first one-man exhibition of drawings was at the Hugo Gallery, New York in 1952 where he exhibited Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.

Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art including the Campbell's Soup Can, Marilyn and Elvis series. In 1962, the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles exhibited his Campbell's Soup Cans and in New York, the Stable Gallery showed the Baseball, Coca-Cola, Do-It-Yourself and Dance Diagram paintings among others.

In 1963 Warhol established a studio at 231 East 47th Street that became known as the "Factory". In addition to painting and creating box sculptures such as Brillo Box and Heinz Box, Warhol began working in other mediums including record-producing (The Velvet Underground), magazine publishing (Interview) and filmmaking. He shot his first film in 1963 and became increasingly active as an experimental film-maker; the films made by him and Warhol Films Factory Inc. include Sleep (1963), Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966).

In the 1970's, Warhol renewed his focus on painting and worked extensively on a commissioned basis both for corporations and for individuals whose portrait he painted. Works created in this decade include Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Torsos, Maos and Shadows. Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol was given a major retrospective of his work at the Pasadena Art Museum that travelled to museums around the world.

In the 1980s the artist began work on Andy Warhol's TV, a series of half-hour video programmes patterned after Interview magazine. In 1985, "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" appeared on MTV, half-hour programmes featuring celebrities, artists, musicians, and designers, with Warhol as the host. The paintings he created during this time included Dollar Signs, Guns, Ads and Illustrations, Camouflages and Last Suppers. He also produced several paintings in collaboration with other artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente.

In 1989, the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a major retrospective exhibition. In 2001 Heiner Bastian curated a Warhol retrospective that began in Berlin and travelled to Tate Modern in London and finally to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

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