The documentary medium for which Andy Warhol, the Prince of Pop, is best known is photography. But his art is inseparable from photography. An obsessive photographer, it is estimated that Warhol made between 60,000 and 100,000 snapshots in his lifetime. The camera functioned as his sketch book, diary and means of communication. He initially borrowed photographic images from advertising for his celebrity portraits and silkscreen paintings, producing pictures of athletes such as Dorothy Hamill and Tom Seaver; celebrities like Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, and Ric Ocasek (of the rock band The Cars); and fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent.
From February 15 through May 17, 2009, the Neuberger Museum of Art
| Purchase College will present Andy Warhol: Snapshots, an exhibition of over 50 photographs from the Museums permanent collection, taken by the artist at different stages in his career. The photographs, gelatin silver prints and Polaroids, provide a wealth of information about the artists process and interaction with his subjects.
According to by Michael Lobel, curator of the show, the photographs represent two intertwined aspects of Andy Warhols career: his art making and the whirlwind of his celebrity-studded private life. They capture the bizarre and the banal, the celebrities and the unknown, and document Warhols immersion in a world of fame and high society, Dr. Lobel said. The photos are dated from the 1970s and 1980s, between the time Warhol first established his success as a sixties Pop artist and his untimely death in 1987 at the age of fifty-nine. Michael Lobel, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the MA Program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism, and Theory, at Purchase College, State University of New York.
The images in Snapshots have been selected from an extraordinary gift of over one hundred and fifty photographs given to the Neuberger Museum of Art by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The gift was part of an unprecedented donation of Warhols art to college and university art museums across the United States, made through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the Foundations 20th anniversary.