Warhol exhibition arrives in London

This show has been in Berlin, and will next travel to Los Angeles


Andy Warhol once remarked that, “When you look at something too much it loses all of its meaning”, and some argue that his own work has become a case in point. A cult figure who often used his celebrity status and art to create controversy (he was shot by a feminist extremist in 1968), curators have tended to exhibit Warhol on the basis of his lifestyle and a few famous works—cans of soup and the ubiquitous Marilyns. This show (7 February-1 April) is staged very deliberately at the beginning of the new century, 15 years after the artist’s death, to put his work in its historical context and reassess his place in 20th-century art. It retraces his career from the development of Pop to his abandonment of painting in 1965 and focuses particularly on the act of depersonalisation and the notion of the mechanical artist. Organised by German independent curator Heiner Bastian, a close friend of Warhol’s, the show of over 150 paintings, drawings and sculptures includes lesser known pieces such as the “Most wanted men” series (above). The show has been seen in Berlin, and has been expanded for the Tate by curator Donna de Salvo, to include films, videos and photos, as well as previously unseen early comic strips and drawings. It travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles on 25 May.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 122 February 2002