National Gallery of Art, Washington
September 25, 2011 - January 2, 2012
ANDY WARHOL, A Boy for Meg, 1962, oil on canvas. One of the artist's earliest hand-painted headline canvases. © National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine. Courtesy National Gallery of Art.
The first exhibition to examine works that Andy Warhol created on the theme of news headlines will premiere at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. On view from September 25, 2011, to January 2, 2012, WARHOL: HEADLINES will define and bring together works the artist based largely on the tabloid news, demonstrating his career-long obsession with the sensational side of contemporary news media. Source materials for the art will be presented for comparison, revealing Warhol's role as both editor and author. The exhibition is organized by Molly Donovan, associate curator, modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
The rich headline motif will be traced through some 80 works representing the full variety of its treatment in Warhol's practice, ranging from paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and sculpture to film, video, and television. A major, yet previously unexplored theme running through Warhol's entire career, the headline encompasses many of his key subjects, including celebrity, death, disaster, contemporary events, and the artist as subject.
After Washington, the exhibition will be on view at:
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
February 11 - May 13, 2012
Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna, Rome
June 11 - September 9, 2012
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
October 14, 2012 - January 6, 2013
ANDY WAHROL (1928-1987) is often cited, next to Jackson Pollock, as among the top American artists of the last century. Others name him, alongside Pablo Picasso, as one of the most important 20th-century artists in the world. Wherever one places him, Warhol's reach is indisputable. His visual vocabulary has become a part of the vernacular from which it originally came. Even his prescient 1968 statement "in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes" has become as ubiquitous as the 24-hour news cycle itself.
"Andy Warhol continues to inform our culture in limitless ways through a variety of media," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are proud to offer this scholarly, visually compelling exhibition and catalogue of one of the world's most famous and influential artists, providing new information and insights to all visitors, from Warhol specialists to the general public." .
Warhol obsessively scoured newspapers for their stories and images, and he kept many of them in his Time Capsules, most of which he never made into works of art. Those he elevated to the status of art, however, tell a tale that parallels and intersects the artist's own life story at times, collapsing his life and work into one epic account of post-World War II America.
The exhibition opens with the artist's earliest hand-painted headline canvases, including the National Gallery of Art's A Boy for Meg (1962), based on supermarket tabloids—a major influence on American mass culture. From his drawings in the late 1950s while working as a commercial illustrator through his transition into the fine arts in the early 1960s, Warhol explored the powerful underside of journalistic culture. By featuring stories on the joys of celebrity royals, as in A Boy For Meg; Hollywood scandals, such as Eddie Fisher's breakdown in Daily News (1962); and the tragedies of everyday people, as in 129 Die in Jet (1962), in equal measure, Warhol revealed the commodified news value assigned to the passions and disasters of contemporary life. In 1968 Warhol himself became the subject of front page news after he was shot by actress Valerie Solanas. On the occasion of his death in 1987, Warhol was again the subject of the headlines owing to his own celebrity.
Throughout his career, Warhol devoted himself to time-based media (film, video, and television) and even launched his own cable television show (Andy Warhol's T.V.). The exhibition will present the three Screen Tests in which the sitters are reading the newspaper and will show for the first time the artist's 1974 video diary of Factory superstar Brigid Berlin reading the news. Also to be seen for the first time is an outtake from an episode of Andy Warhol's T.V featuring Keith Haring discussing his own use of found tabloid headlines in his first street art interventions.
Later works include black-and-white photographs of newspaper boxes, Warhol's grids of "sewn" photographs featuring newspaper headlines, silkscreened paintings, and his collaborations from the 1980s with younger artists Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The exhibition catalogue will include scholarly essays by Molly Donovan; John J. Curley, associate professor of art history, Wake Forest University; John Hanhardt, senior curator for media art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Matt Wrbican, archivist, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
The exhibition is organized by the NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, Washington DC