detail of Reigning Queens (Royal Edition)(Queen Ntombi) by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), screenprint and diamond dust on Lenox Museum Board, 1985, Extra, out of the edition.
Designated for research and educational purposes only. (c) The Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts, Inc.
(installation photo from Andy Warhol Portraits: Art and Irony at Art Museum of the University of Memphis) © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
opening reception: July 11th from 5pm-7:30pm
exhibition on view from July 12th to September 13th
In conjunction with Memphis Brooks Museum of Art's exhibition, Marisol: Sculptures
and Works on Paper, AMUM presents selections from its collection of Andy Warhol portrait
Polaroids, black and white photos and silkscreen prints. Marisol and Warhol were colleagues
and Pop portraitists, he in painting, she in sculpture. Warhol's genius was to yank
fine art from its pedestal of exclusivity and present it as a commodity undifferentiated
from Campbell soup and Brillo pads—but much more expensive. Marisol participated in
his films and in events at his studio, the Factory, the throbbing center of the Pop
Art movement where celebrities, wannabe celebrities and dazzled hangers-on congregated
to rock and revel at night and become portrait subjects during working hours. Warhol,
the fright-wigged wizard of coolness, presided over this frenetic universe, and the
media loved the entire phenomenon.
Andy Warhol Portraits: Art and Irony reveals the process behind the portraits, which
in turn reveals the sitters, whether stars or suburbanites, as profoundly ordinary
people eager for their moments of reflected glory. Ten Works x Ten Artists, 1964,
a silkscreen suite in AMUM's collection efficiently encapsulates New York's contemporary
artistic environment of the 1960s. It includes Warhol's print recycled from a recent
news photo of the 1963 Birmingham race riot. His images culled from the press of violence,
war, car and plane crashes, electric chairs and even a stunned, grieving Jackie Kennedy
solidify his point that anything, however trivial or disturbing, can be commodified