Season of Warhol

October 25, 2020–March 28, 2021

Andy Warhol thrived on outrageousness, and got used to critics trashing his work. But today, 33 years after his death, many see him—the king of pop art—as the most influential artist of the 20th century. His creative activities were boundless: painting, printmaking, film, television, commercial illustration, sculpture, photography, installation art, rock music promotion, publishing, writing, modeling, advertising. Warhol touched nearly every form of aesthetic expression.

The artist and his art contained a multitude of contradictions, and anyone seeking to come to terms with Warhol’s legacy finds a knotty and evergreen project. He depicted religious subjects and superstars, mundane consumer products and sexual acts. He was simultaneously a dispassionate social observer and a greedy exploiter of commercialism and celebrity. At one moment he touches on social justice, but then throws consumer products in our faces. In the 1960s, his films were routinely banned or busted for nudity, sex, and queer innuendo; but looking back years later, he claimed, “The old stuff is better to talk about than to see. It always sounds better than it really is.”

If it is difficult to wrap one’s head around Warhol, it is not only because of the depth and range of his output, but also because each generation has found new ways to make Warhol theirs. This fact is yet another paradox of his accomplishment, because from his earliest days to his last he viewed himself as a misfit and an outsider. And yet this fey, awkward man, obsessed about skin problems and baldness, was able to sell himself as a fashionable portraitist, whose clients ranged from Iran’s royal family to Gianni Versace. From today’s vantage point, he was a pioneer in making it OK to be different, which in Warhol’s case was a particularly strange and conflicted beauty.

Included in Season of Warhol:
Cow Wallpaper | Silver Clouds | Warhol TV

Thank you

Sponsored by the Gallina Family and the Sands Family Foundation, with additional support from the Rubens Family Foundation, Sanjay and Allyson Hiranandani, Nocon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., and Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP. Funding is also provided by Janet S. Reed, Peter and Nan Brown, Marilynn Patterson Grant and David Grant, Trudie and Ron Kirshner, Peter and Kathy Landers, the McDonald Family, Deanne Molinari, Mark F. Shork and Harter Secrest & Emery LLP.

The exhibition is also made possible by the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund.

Thnak you to our sponsor Woods Oviatt Gilman