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The Andy Warhol Museum opens mid-career retrospective of the work by Deborah Kass
Deborah Kass, After Louise Bourgeois, 2010.
PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Andy Warhol Museum announces Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After, a major mid-career retrospective of paintings, photographs and sculpture by New York artist Deborah Kass. The exhibition, featuring approximately 75 works, showcases Kass’ achievements over the course of her three-decade career.

After a successful decade of showing landscapes and abstract paintings during the 1980s, Kass startled the art world by appropriating the work of Andy Warhol. Beginning in 1992, Kass presented this grouping of Warhol’s well-known celebrity paintings for a contingent of her own heroes, among them Gertrude Stein, Sandy Koufax, and Barbra Streisand (the subject of The Jewish Jackie series). Kass’ Warholesque paintings of Streisand in Yeshiva drag from the film Yentl, titled My Elvis, are an example of the artist’s genre-and gender-bending sensibility.

This retrospective features Kass’ early landscapes, as well as her geometric abstractions. The Art History Paintings series presents playful quips on iconic artworks and pop culture. The exhibition concludes with the recent series, feel good paintings for feel bad times. Using nostalgia in a new way, these works incorporate lyrics borrowed from The Great American Songbook and some of the greatest hits of post war American painting. They address history, power, gender and ethnicity, which have been themes of her work for over 20 years.

“Deborah Kass is one of the great American painters. This far-reaching exhibition traces her development as an artist over a 30 year period, showing not only her technical acumen, but more importantly her dialog with American culture and art history throughout her career. The show traces Kass’ multitude of influencers and how she both identifies with and ultimately fuses with them,” said Eric C. Shiner, director of The Warhol.

A monograph published by Rizzoli on the occasion of the exhibition includes essays by Brooks Adams, Lisa Liebmann, Griselda Pollock, Irving Sandler, Robert Storr, John Waters, and Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol.

Kass received her BFA in Painting at Carnegie Mellon University, and later studied at the Whitney Museum independent study program and the Art Students’ League. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The Jewish Museum New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Cincinnati Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, as well as numerous public and private collections. She has been featured in many major exhibitions nationally and internationally at venues including the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennale, and Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Currently, Kass serves as a senior critic in the Yale University MFA Painting program.

Kass has participated in several recent traveling exhibitions, including Hide/Seek, which originated at the National Portrait Galley in Washington, D.C., and The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure Signs of Power, originating at the Neuberger Museum of Art. Her work is also featured in Regarding Warhol, Sixty Artist, Fifty Years a major exhibition examining the influence of Warhol on contemporary art, which opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this September and will be on view at The Warhol beginning in February 2013.

Kass is represented by Vincent Fremont and the Paul Kasmin Gallery.

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