Discover an Andy Warhol you only thought you knew

 

Celebrity and wallpaper works envite visitors into Andy Warhol exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)
Celebrity and wallpaper works envite visitors into Andy Warhol exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)

Visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago’s new blockbuster, “Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again,” will see that the famed artist moved way beyond commercial illustration.

Before entering the exhibit, read the copy on the wall either to the left or right outside the hall where it says to start here. Then go into the foyer to admire the celebrities he pictured and walk through the wallpaper edged doorway into the world of Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol, Green Coca Cola Bottles. (J Jacobs photo)
Andy Warhol, Green Coca Cola Bottles. (J Jacobs photo)

Primarily known as a leader in the Pop Art movement, Warhol’s work reflected his cynical attitude towards advertising and how it influenced the public.

If one picture of a soup can, a Coke bottle, a celebrity is good, would multiple images of that person or object be better?

He wondered if people believe they will be happier, for example, if they have a nose job because they saw an ad. (He eventually did.) See his “Before and After” series.

 

Andy Warhol, Before and After. 4, 1962 (J Jacobs photo)
Andy Warhol, Before and After. 4, 1962 (J Jacobs photo)

 

Then there is his sober side which includes disaster and death motifs, both of which are in the exhibit.

In an Art Institute show of Warh’s workol about 30 years ago that gave an excellent  interpretation of his views on life and trends, there were more examples of how seriously he took guns, car accidents and other tragedies.

However, the current exhibit illustrates with newspaper clippings covering a wall and his work of Jackie before and after.how he was affected by the Kennedy assassination.

 

Andy Warhol, 1964, Nine Jackies. (J Jacobs photo
Andy Warhol, 1964, Nine Jackies. (J Jacobs photo

 

Plan on spending enough time at the exhibition to get to know the different sides of Warhol. Filled with more than 400 of his works, it includes drawings, paintings, prints, films, art installations and videos.

Organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the exhibit goes beyond the too easily dismissive pop art label.

Andy Warhol, 1981-82, Gun (J Jacobs photo
Andy Warhol, 1981-82, Gun
(J Jacobs photo

Born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh in 1928, he died of surgery complications in 1987. But in his short life he was an author, rock-band producer, magazine founder and a collector of a broad spectrum of people from celebrities and intellectuals to street people and those he was comfortable with as an openly gay guy before being gay was understood and acceptable.

Many of them were invited to The Factory, his New York studio where he often experimented with different processes including oxidation, his thumb the nose view of some artists’ works. No alert here, because you should go to the exhibit and hear more.

Andy Warhol, 1978 Oxidation Painting (J Jacobs photo)
Andy Warhol, 1978 Oxidation Painting (J Jacobs photo)

By the way, Warhol  is also credited with the “15 minutes of fame” expression.

DETAILS:  Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again” is at the Art Institute of Chicago, from the Michigan Avenue entrance at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and the Modern wing entrance at 159 E. Monroe, St., Chicago, Oct. 20, 2019 through Jan. 26, 2020. For tickets and other information visit ARTIC/AndyWarhol.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

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