Big Shots: Andy Warhol Polaroids, an exhibition of rare photographs, many depicting celebrities, will open at the Nasher Museum of Art
at Duke on Thursday, Nov. 12.
The exhibition includes about 250 Polaroids and 75 silver gelatin black-and-white prints taken by Warhol from 1970 to 1987. The exhibition includes Warhols Polaroids of such famous subjects as artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, writer Truman Capote, skater Dorothy Hamill, fashion icon Bianca Jagger, artist Grace Jones, golfer Jack Nicklaus and musician Rick Ocasek. The black-and-white prints depict such luminaries as Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell and fashion critic André Leon Talley. Many of these original prints will be on public view for the first time.
Warhols Polaroids reveal an important dimension of the artists process in creating his famous large-scale portraits, says Trevor Schoonmaker, curator of contemporary art at the Nasher. Although the Polaroids were aids for painting portraits, in and of themselves they are significant and represent a relatively unknown body of Warhols work.
At the Nasher Museum, the exhibition will also include portraits on canvas of Patsy, Andrea, Joan and Nancy Nasher, the wife and daughters of the late Raymond D. Nasher, the museums namesake, accompanied by the corresponding Polaroid studies. A selection of Warhol films from the 1960s will also be part of the exhibition to provide a greater context for the photographic work. The exhibition will be on view through Feb. 21, 2010.
The exhibition is complemented by a film series, a free Family Day event and a talk by art critic and social theorist Dave Hickey. Duke Performances will also present 13 Most Beautiful Songs for Andy Warhols Screen Tests, a musical performance by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips to accompany some of Warhols rarely seen silent-film portraits, co-sponsored by the Nasher Museum.
Big Shots: Andy Warhol Polaroids was organized by the Nasher Museum of Art; the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. All three institutions received gifts of about 100 original Polaroid photographs and 50 gelatin silver black-and-white prints in 2008, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, a division of the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York.
After premiering at the Nasher Museum, the exhibition travels to the Weatherspoon (June 6 Sept. 19, 2010), and the Ackland (Oct. 2, 2010 Jan. 2, 2011).