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Warhol and The Shared Subject Opens this Weekend at the Art Galleries at TCU
Andy Warhol, Untitled (Carly Simon), 1980. Polaroid photograph. © Warhol Foundation.

FORT WORTH, TX.- Andy Warhol was renowned for his iconic portraits of movie stars, musicians, and luminaries from the worlds of fashion and sports. Yet toward the end of his career, he increasingly took on commissions for portraits of society and business figures. This shift in his output could be aligned to his dictum that in “doing portraits, you don’t care who you do as long as you have someone to do.” This dictum has significantly different implications across the range of subjects made iconic by Warhol’s approach. As a viewer of Warlhol’s images we become engaged in a relationship between the representation of the subject, our existing knowledge of the subject, the artist, and ourselves. It is in this space that the meaning and sense of the portrait is arguably established. Warhol and The Shared Subject will examine this relationship as it develops from Warhol’s work into contemporary practices. Throughout the exhibition, social and cultural determinations are evoked and give rise to particularly nuanced perspectives of the notion of how a “shared subject” can exist.

The exhibition will consist of paintings and photographs by Andy Warhol that articulate the multilayered relationship of the subject in his portraiture. Moreover, a relationship will be established with contemporary work that offers mediation on the position and complexity of the subject within portraiture as a cultural artifact. Douglas Gordon, well known for his uses and re-contextualization of appropriated imagery, will show work from two series where Warhol is a distinct presence, both as a source of appropriated images and also a quoted approach. Within the series You + Me After the Factory, the spectator is directly implicated in the activity of viewing through the use of a mirror as the ground for distressed images taken from Warhol. Tony Scherman also implies the specter of the disintegration of the icon in portraits of Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlon Brando as Napoleon. In content and technique Scherman constructs a reading through the individual depicted in his portraits to exploit the foundations of social and cultural value. For the exhibition CS Leigh will realize a new installation, EXHIBITS A-K FROM THE DEBRAY FILES, which derives as a material footnote to his film SEE YOU AT REGIS DEBRAY. The work concerns Andreas Baader’s hiding-out in the Paris apartment of Regis Debray, while on the run from the courts in Germany. This portrait depicts an unraveling of the self and how, as the artist describes, the “crease in narrative becomes a mirror or a position of refraction.” Rineke Dijkstra’s The Buzzclub/Mysteryworld is a two channel video projection that consists of a series of video portraits of youths at two nightclubs, one in Liverpool UK and the other in Zaandam, The Netherlands. The portraits are shot in the backrooms of the nightclubs; distanced from the music and lights the subjects shift and pose self-consciously detached from their defining context.

The recurrence of the mirror analogy throughout the exhibition concerns a duality of objectivity and a form of perceived occult power. A sense that is perhaps suggested in Warhol’s response to a question posed in a 1986 interview: “Do you look at yourself in the mirror?” Warlhol’s melancholic response was, “No. It’s too hard to look in the mirror. Nothing’s there.” Warhol and The Shared Subject will explore this enigmatic margin of the self as space of projection, signification, and attribution; and the ability of portraiture to negotiate the variety of modes of social currency that affect cultural identity.

Andy Warhol (born Pittsburgh 1928, died NYC 1987) entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1945, where he majored in pictorial design, from there he moved to NYC to work as an illustrator for several magazines. He appeared in a group show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1955. 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. In 1963 Warhol established a studio at 231 East 47th Street, which became known as the "Factory." Warhol was given a major retrospective of his work at the Pasadena Art Museum which traveled to museums around the world. In 1985 "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" appeared on MTV, half hour programs featuring celebrities, artists, musicians, and designers, with Warhol as the host. The paintings he created during this time included Dollar Signs, Guns and Last Supper. In 1989 the Museum of Modern Art in New York had a major retrospective of his works. In 2001 Heiner Bastian curated a Warhol retrospective that began in Berlin and traveled to the Tate in London and finally to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Rineke Dijkstra (born 1959, Sittard, The Netherlands, lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Since her first solo exhibition at de Moor in Amsterdam in 1984, Dijkstra has shown at the Sprengel Museum Hannover (1998), Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (1999), and the Art Institute of Chicago (2001), among other venues. She has also exhibited widely in group shows, including the Venice Biennale (1997 and 2001), Bienal de São Paulo (1998), Biennale Internationale di Fotografia in Turin (1999), International Month of Photography in Moscow (2000), and ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003). She has received much recognition for her work, winning the Kodak Award Nederland in 1987, the Art Encouragement Award Amstelveen in 1993, the Werner Mantz Award in 1994, and the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize in 1998.

Douglas Gordon (born in 1966 in Glasgow, lives and works in Berlin & New York). Gordon attended Glasgow School of Art from 1984 to 1988 and receiving a B.A. He then undertook a graduate program at the Slade School of Art in London. Since his first solo show in 1986, he has exhibited extensively, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centro Cultrual de Belém in Portugal; and the DIA Center for the Arts in New York. A 2001 retrospective organized by the Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles traveled to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; the Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

CS Leigh (born in 1964, lives in London). A filmmaker and writer, who has worked in design, music, contemporary art, criticism, performance, and film. His films include FAR FROM CHINA shown on four screens and featuring Marianne Faithfull; PROCESS with Beatrice Dalle and Guillaume Depardieu which was included in the Official Selection at the Berlin International Film Festival and in 35 international film festivals including Edinburgh, where it was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for British Film of the Year; and the forthcoming SEE YOU AT REGIS DEBRAY which tells the Andreas Baader story from a unique perspective. Currently in production are the films: AMERICAN WIDOW, a five-year film about 9/11; and NOBODY FUCKS NICO about the Velvet Underground singer and Warhol actress. He has collaborated with Suede, John Cale, Ryoji Ikeda, and Cat Power on performances and film soundtracks. Recent commissions include CANNES 6808 a film to commemorate the famously disrupted 1968 Cannes Film Festival, and a series of films on contemporary fashion design for Japan.

Tony Scherman (born in Toronto in 1950, lives in Toronto). Scherman is a leading Canadian painter who received an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London, England, in 1974. Since his first solo exhibition at the Mayor Gallery in London 1979, Scherman has shown in galleries and museums throughout Canada, Europe and the United States. These include: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin; Fondation d’Art Contemporain d’Ile-de-France & Fondation Guerlain, Paris; Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Hunter Museum of Art, Tennessee. He is particularly known for a monumental cycle of Napoleon portraits and French Revolution paintings collected in the book, Chasing Napoleon: Forensic Portraits (Moffat: Cameron & Hollis, 2002).

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