This summer, The Dayton Art Institute
celebrates our longstanding love of sports and competition with a pair of sports-themed special exhibitions, Andy Warhol: Athletes and The Art of Sport: Highlights from the Collection of The Dayton Art Institute.
Andy Warhol: Athletes showcases 10 Warhol silkscreen paintings, commissioned in 1977 by investment banker Richard Weisman. A fan of both art and sport, Weisman noted that although both are popular leisure-time activities, they rarely cross paths in any way. He sought to remedy the situation by commissioning his friend Andy Warhol to paint portraits of several top athletes of the day. The resulting group of 10 portraits became known as the Athletes Series and features some of the top sports stars of that era: Muhammad Ali, O.J. Simpson, Dorothy Hamill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Evert, Willie Shoemaker, Pelé, Tom Seaver, Rod Gilbert and Jack Nicklaus.
In addition to the 10 paintings of the Athletes Series, the exhibition also features Warhols 1985 silkscreen portrait of Weisman and artists proofs of Warhols 1985 portrait of Pete Rose.
In conjunction with this exhibition, The Art of Sport: Highlights from the Collection of The Dayton Art Institute explores how the theme of sports is ubiquitous in art and has occupied artists from cultures all over the world, from ancient times to the present. It features more than 100 examples of how that theme is manifest in some of The DAIs finest treasures. Arranged thematically in four categories, the objects represent a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media. The exhibition is sure to delight sports and art lovers of all ages.
Themes explored in the exhibition include Games of Physical Prowess, Games of Skill and Chance, Man and Beast and Man versus Nature. Games of Physical Prowess contains many examples in which agility, strength, and physical skill are required for the contest. Games of Skill and Chance represents competitions in which mental dexterity is the key component of victory. Man and Beast includes hunting, a theme that appears across multiple media and time periods within the museums collection. Man versus Nature includes many pastimes, such as fishing, sailing, and mountain climbing, in which the common factor that unites these activities is a direct encounter with nature.
Both exhibitions are curated by The Dayton Art Institutes Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Aimee Marcereau DeGalan.
The exhibitions also feature cell phone audio commentaries by famed local sports writer Bucky Albers, as well as QR codes that may be scanned to view videos related to select works.