A tapestry of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol will go on display to the public for the first time in the UK as part of Love Is Enough, an exhibition exploring the similarities between William Morris and Andy Warhol curated by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. Love is Enough opens at Modern Art Oxford
on 6 December 2014.
The work was presented by Charles Slatkin Galleries in 1968 as part of the American Tapestries exhibition, in which the gallery invited a group of contemporary artists to submit designs for tapestries. Warhol gave this Marilyn design, which was hand woven into a woollen tapestry for the exhibition. The artist agreed to 20 editions, but it is believed that only six were made, and this is the only version The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has ever recorded. The tapestry is in the private collection of entrepreneur and businessman Larry Wasser, and will be displayed in a public museum for the first time as part of Love Is Enough.
The tapestry is displayed in a room that demonstrates how the childhood obsessions of Andy Warhol and William Morris went on to influence their work as artists. Warhol was interested in celebrity from young age, and collected signed photographs of Hollywood stars. As a child, William Morris was obsessed with mythology. The final panel of the epic Holy Grail tapestries series by Morris & Co., which shows the attainment of the Holy Grail, will be displayed alongside Warhols Marilyn tapestry.
Love is Enough will illuminate many points of connectivity within the work and lives of the two artists. Morris and Warhol both established printmaking businesses and distributed their work through new forms of mass production. Both were natural collaborators who worked with the prominent artists of their time to develop working methods that did much to redefine the artists relationship to the studio and factory. The way in which they organised their workspace and production was consistent with how they viewed the world, and how they wanted the world to be.
Jeremy Deller said: For me, these two figures have so much in common, not least their tendency to be contradictory. Morris railed against capitalism and yet he established a shop in central London bearing his family name, and Warhols trademark blankness, I think, belies a deeply political artist. With Love is Enough Im asking the audience to suspend their disbelief momentarily and make connections about art across two centuries.