1 Jun 2013 (Sat) - 25 Aug 2013 (Sun)
Level 4, Te Papa, Wellington
Andy Warhol (1928–87) was a founder of pop art and one of the 20th century’s most defining artists.
He changed the way we look at ourselves and each other. He blurred the boundaries between the artificial and the real, the commercial and the cultural, the noteworthy and the trite. Warhol: Immortal celebrates his enduring influence.
More than anything else, Warhol was obsessed with people. His preoccupation is perhaps even more pertinent today, in an era of intense social networking, reality TV, and YouTube. His past words take on a prophetic status: ‘In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.’
The exhibition features Warhol’s portraits of friends, celebrities, socialites, politicians, and rock stars across multiple media – paintings, MTV videos, experimental films, screen prints, drawings, and magazine covers. Among them are the flamboyant, repetitive portraits that made him most famous. As he once said: ‘Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?’
Startling self-portraits from a 40-year period show the persona of Andy Warhol developing over time, until close to his death in 1987. He immortalised himself as much others – on canvas if not elsewhere. He once mused about being ‘reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor’s finger’ and another time quipped: ‘I never think that people die. They just go to department stores.’
Te Papa has worked with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to present this exhibition to New Zealand audiences.