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Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a leading artist in the Pop Art movement, whose four-decade career resulted in his status as one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. An interdisciplinary artist, Warhol worked across mediums, including printmaking, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, film, and music. Embracing market and consumerist culture, his work explores the relationship between advertisement, celebrity culture, and visual art. His most iconic imagery came from commercial American visual motifs, including dollar bills, Campbell’s Soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles, and the Brillo box, but also more troubling American iconography such as mushroom clouds and the electric chair. He is also famous for depicting celebrities, among them Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Muhammad Ali. He ran his studio, The Factory, as a space for the era’s intelligentsia, celebrities, and collectors to gather. The Andy Warhol Museum, the largest museum in the US dedicated to an individual artist, is located in Pittsburgh and holds an extensive collection of his art and archives. He died at the age of 58 from cardiac arrhythmia in New York City.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Warhol studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving to New York in 1949 and working as a fashion editor. He gained notoriety in the 1950s for his ink drawings of shoe advertisements. Though Warhol hand-painted his earliest work, he quickly transitioned to photo screen-print techniques that allowed him to reproduce an image without any trace of human mark-making. The absence of brushstrokes in the work gave his work a manufactured look, that went in line with his interest in blurring the line between fine and commercial art. The artist was interested in printmaking’s ability to be mass produced, and the ways in which this medium allowed him to manipulate an image in many different ways. As Warhol put it himself, “Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?”

In the 1960s, his work was based on comics and advertisements, before focusing on paintings in the 1970s, when he completed many commissioned portraits. In 1969, he founded Interview Magazine, a publication featuring interviews with famous artists and celebrities. During the 1980s, he was affiliated with a number of prolific artists from a younger generation, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Julian Schnable, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, and David Salle and produced several collaborations with many of them.

Warhol’s work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Andy Warhol Museum, PA; Broad Museum, CA; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, PA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Fuji Art Museum, JP; Hamburger Kunsthalle, DE; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Mori Art Museum, JP; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, ES; Museum Brandhorst, DE; Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, FR; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Philadelphia Art Museum, PA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Tate Gallery, UK; Walker Art Center, MN and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

His work has most recently been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2018), Cantor Arts Center (2018), Museum of Modern Art (2018), Columbia Museum of Art (2015), Jewish Museum of Australia (2014), Tate Liverpool (2014), Art Gallery of New South Wales (2014), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2014), Seattle Art Museum (2014), Museum of Contemporary Art (2014), Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014), Serlachius Museum Gosta (2014), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (2014), Queens Art Museum (2014), Mori Art Museum (2014), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2013) and the Museum Brandhorst (2013). In 2001, a major retrospective began in Berlin and traveled to the Tate in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
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