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ANDY WARHOL’S PHOTO-AESTHETIC
September 11 - November 1, 2014
Exploring Warhol’s use of photo silkscreen, Polaroid photographs, silver gelatin prints, and black and white print media, this exhibition will examine Warhol’s “photo-aesthetic,” a hallmark of Pop Art. “By presenting images in different media side by side, the exhibition will allow viewers to move back and forth between moments of Warhol’s art, work, and life—inseparable parts of a fascinating whole,” says Amy Winter, Godwin-Ternbach Director.
This exhibition will highlight recent gifts from the Andy Warhol Foundation, including portraits of the iconic American figures Muhammad Ali and Sitting Bull; “portraits” of two famous monuments, the Brooklyn Bridge and Cologne Cathedral; and Ladies and Gentlemen, an image from a series of portraits of New York City drag queens created by Warhol in 1975. These prints were made following Warhol’s usual formula: a Polaroid portrait of the sitter or image was silkscreened onto paper or canvas and then embellished with silkscreen ink in a bright array of nearly psychedelic colors. The foundation’s gift enhances the Godwin-Ternbach’s already sizable collection of Warhol art, which includes the Campbell’s Soup and Electric Chair suites of photo-silkscreen prints.
Appropriating the means and content of mass media, including celebrities, comic books, and advertising, Warhol utilized photomechanical reproduction methods, emphasizing the replica vs. the original work of art, often in a mock-serious or ironic tone.
Paired with Warhol’s work will be four large-scale digital photographs by Malaysian-born Chinese artist Chee Wang Ng, which pay homage to Warhol. In these works Ng visually employs tongue-in-cheek humor—for instance, juxtaposing Campbell’s Soup cans with bowls of rice, a classic Chinese image and metaphor. In doing this, he recontextualizes, challenges, and reevaluates Chinese culture, exploring Chinese diaspora identity, a globally underrepresented but immense population, to raise awareness about the diversity of Chinese culture and transformation of its traditions. The public at large will also see Warhol from the fresh perspective of an Asian artist and comprehend the complexity of his work and its global influence.