A major exhibition on Andy Warhol is coming to the AGO in May 2021. This blockbuster retrospective reconsiders the personal, social and political backdrop that influenced Warhol’s groundbreaking art.
A 20th-century icon at the centre of Pop Art, Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1928. Shy, gay and from a working-class, East European immigrant background, Warhol had a unique understanding of American society that is registered in his art and writing. Synthesizing consumer culture, canonical art history, countercultural activities and his own Catholicism, Warhol’s vast body of work, which includes film and publishing, both reflected and fueled the intense cultural transformations that occurred across the globe in the second half of the twentieth century.
Organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Andy Warhol spans four decades of the artist's career, including early drawings, iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, experimental films, the floating Silver Clouds (1966) and the large-scale canvas Christ $9.98 (positive) (1986) from Munich's Museum Brandhorst.
Andy Warhol features loans from museums and private collections in Europe and North America. One important theme of the exhibition is Warhol’s sexuality. Foregrounding a selection of early male nudes the artist drew in the 1950s, the exhibition will also include Sleep, a 1963 film that stars his lover, the poet John Giorno, and the 1975 series of paintings Ladies and Gentlemen, which memorializes members of New York City’s transgender community.
Key works from Warhol’s Pop period include Marilyn Diptych (1962) from Tate Modern, 100 Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) from Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, and the AGO’s Elvis I and II (1963/4). Increasingly drawn to counterculture and the underground, Warhol also blurred the boundaries between the arts throughout his career, experimenting with multimedia, music, live performance and publishing. Combining film projections, disco balls, audience participation and the sounds of the experimental rock group The Velvet Underground, Warhol’s psychedelic multimedia environment Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966) will be restaged as part of the exhibition, as will an installation of his floating metallic pillows, Silver Clouds.
This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. It is curated by Gregor Muir, Director of Collection, International Art, and Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern; and Yilmaz Dziewior, Director, and Stephan Diederich, Curator, Collection of Twentieth-Century Art, Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Curated at Art Gallery of Ontario by Kenneth Brummel, Associate Curator, Modern Art.