Andy Warhol: Portraits opened at Phoenix Art Museum
on March 4, 2015. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol was at the forefront of the Pop Art movement and known for his brightly colored images. This exhibition examines Warhols interest in capturing the likenesses of celebrities, as well as himself. On display are more than 170 objects, including more than 90 screen print paintings, and more than 30 drawings, videos, paintings and photographs from his student days in the 1940s to the New Wave-era 1980s. Also on view is an installation of Warhols reflective Silver Clouds, helium and air-filled metalized balloons.
The portrait subjects range from Prince and Queen Elizabeth II to Jackie Kennedy and Sylvester Stallone, along with many whose 15 minutes of fame has since faded. There are also several paintings, photographs, photobooth pictures and Polaroids of Warhol himself that predate todays fascination with selfies. In working closely with The Andy Warhol Museum, Phoenix Art Museum was able to secure this exhibition of portraits. This is a great opportunity to explore a single aspect of Warhols art, that spans the entirety of the artists career, said Jerry Smith, curator of American and European art to 1950 and art of the American West at Phoenix Art Museum.
More than 25 years after his death, Andy Warhol undeniably remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. If he was alive today Warhol undoubtedly would be heavily involved with the fame, celebrities, reality television, selfies, blogs, the Internet and social media with which modern day culture is obsessed. Warhol recognized early on the growing trend of celebrity worship in our society, and of the powerful cult of famous personalities that dominates popular culture today, said Amada Cruz, The Sybil Harrington Director at Phoenix Art Museum. She added, He documented his social circle of society swans, movie stars and the demimonde of the 1960s and 1970s, providing a glamorous view of that era.