Season of Warhol - Warhol T.V.

Sunday, October 25, 2020 – March 28, 2021

For Warhol, television was a way to make anyone famous, and he often used informal real-time footage, a prescient version of today’s “reality TV,” to feature both trivial and glamorous subjects. This exhibition in MAG’s Media Arts Watch gallery showcases three of Warhol’s TV series as well as some of his live TV appearances, video clips, and advertisements. More recent material drawn from YouTube explores how his tabloid television anticipated contemporary modes of mass media production. True to the original medium, and in honor of Warhol’s visionary obsession with popular culture, Warhol TV is presented on an outdated CRT television inside a basement hangout space, complete with furniture, games, and a Season of Warhol T.V. Guide.

Please register for MAG timed tickets prior to your visit – here.

Warhol experimented with the television medium starting in 1955, when he acquired his first RCA TV set, until the last decade of his life, when he had a celebrity program on MTV called Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes. Between 1979 and 1987, Warhol aired 42 television broadcasts for private cable channels including MTV and Madison Square Garden Network. Like the Factory and the hundreds of films that he created over the course of his career, Warhol’s TV series was full of appearances by well- and lesser-known personalities from the fashion, film, music, art, and queer scenes. Interviews and conversations alternated with visits to in-vogue nightclubs like Studio 54 and The Tunnel, fashion shows, and music performances.

This installation includes a selection of contemporary YouTube videos and advertisements for local community events that owe a debt to Warhol’s pop media aesthetic. Warhol approached TV in as concentrated and dedicated a manner as he approached his work in almost any medium. Artistic experimentation took the form of niche broadcasting, which connected art with popular culture through the expanding network of cable television channels. His tabloid television fueled media voyeurism and celebrity culture, anticipating YouTube vloggers, Instagram fame, and today’s fastest-growing social media format, TikTok.

Thank You

Season of Warhol is sponsored by the Gallina Family and the Sands Family Foundation, with additional support from the Rubens Family Foundation, Can-Am Consultants, Inc., the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, Sanjay and Allyson Hiranandani, Sandra Hawks Lloyd, 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, Chris and Mike Haefner, Henrietta Building Supplies, Inc., Trudie and Ron Kirshner, Peter and Kathy Landers, the McDonald Family, Deanne Molinari, Sharon and Bob Napier, Lewis Norry in memory of Sharon and Neil Norry, Marcia Stern, Lori Van Dusen, Sarah and Bob Hurlbut, Mark F. Schork, and Harter Secrest & Emery LLP.

The exhibition is also made possible by the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, the Thomas and Marion Hawks Memorial Fund, the Margaret Davis Friedlich and Alan and Sylvia Davis Memorial Fund, the Nancy R. Turner Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr. Fund, and the Kayser Fund.

In-kind support is provided by Rochester Black Pride and Rochester Cocktail Revival.

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