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Exhibition at the Lowry Focuses on the Most Alluring Divas of Andy Warhol's Time
Marilyn Monroe © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2011.

MANCHESTER.- This newly curated exhibition by The Lowry presents an unprecedented collection of some of Andy Warhol’s most iconic works, focusing on the most alluring Divas of his time. As well as presenting the stars he admired, the exhibition will focus on Warhol’s transformation into his own glamorous alter ego, within his self-portrait in drag photographs.

The term Diva, meaning ‘Goddess’ was originally attributed to the ‘prima donna’ or first lady of opera (an art form Warhol had the greatest respect for), whose voice and inimitable talent could not be done without. They were revered characters, often with inflated egos and irritable temperaments.

Today, the term Diva is used far more readily within the spheres of popular and entertainment culture to describe any powerful, glamorous, tempestuous and often egotistical male and female performers. Catapulted into stardom by their voice, their temperament or both, these characters are identified as true icons and are admired and adored as such.

The selection of silkscreen, Polaroid, magazine covers, photographs and film within this exhibition will bring to life the essence of The Diva as we know it today, showcasing some of the world’s most iconic performance figures of the 20th century immortalized by Warhol for generations to come.

The exhibition presents some of Warhol’s most instantly recognisable subjects, including Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli, Mick Jagger and Debbie Harry, alongside some rarely exhibited works such as Pia Zadora and Jane Fonda.

Warhol’s work is on loan to The Lowry primarily from The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh as well as other private and institutional collections. The exhibition features nine original screen prints, 30 Polaroid works, one drawing, ten paintings, five photographs by Christopher Makos, 18 Interview magazine covers and 14 black and white reportage style photographs as well as the film Andy in Drag, October 2, 1981, 1981 (56 minutes).

Kate Farrell, The Lowry’s Curator of Special Exhibitions explains, “We are honoured to be presenting the work of one of most of the most celebrated artists of the 20th Century. Exploring Warhol's fascination with the most revered performers of his generation within the context of The Lowry is a perfect match, allowing us to present internationally renowned artwork with an emphasis on the theatrical. Warhol admired and adored the subjects he depicted in his work, immersing himself in their lifestyle and living and breathing the glamour of their existence which offers an incredible body of material for the exhibition. I hope our visitors will be as excited by this fascinating collection of works as we are to show it off".

This exhibition is presented as part of The Lowry’s performance related visual art programme, which explores performance practice in its broadest sense.

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