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Andy Warhol, Mao

Andy Warhol, Mao (1972), screenprint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 8-Jan 1] Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York by Thosh Collins

Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of
Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Oct 8, 2016-Jan 1, 2017

Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen

Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen (1975), screenprint. 43 1/2 x 28 1/2 in. Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup 1: Tomato

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup 1: Tomato (1968), screenprint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 8-Jan 1] Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Mao

Andy Warhol, Mao (1972), screenprint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 8-Jan 1] Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York by Thosh Collins

Seeing such a comprehensive collection of Warhol prints in one place immerses the viewer in Warhol’s world. He may have seemed a rather fey young man, drawing ladies’ shoes and sending out handmade cards and books to his friends, with titles like 25 Cats Name [sic] Sam and One Blue Pussy. But by the end of the 1950s, Warhol was one of the top art directors in the New York ad world. He had power and influence, but he wanted to cross over to the uptown gallery world.

We learn that Warhol did not get his big break in New York: his show Campbell’s Soup Cans debuted in 1962 at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles. He was simultaneously controversial and taken seriously, forcing people to reconsider the banality of the everyday object and the meaning of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.

Real estate magnate and philanthropist Jordan Schnitzer has been collecting Warhol for decades. Spanning two floors at the museum, the 250 pieces reunite groups that have been split up, so we get the full impact of, for example, an array of ten Chairman Maos. A big part of the experience is to compare the colours of lipsticks on Marilyn or Mao or the graininess of Associated Press photos of John F. Kennedy’s funeral.

The soup cans are given lots of wall space but they don’t require much actual viewing time. More intriguing today is the paper dress that Campbell sold by mail order for two labels and a dollar. Warhol and Big Soup were in on the joke together.

His erotic drawings and prints, circulated quietly at the time, show off his inspired sense of composition and his fluid drawing style, but it’s when you get downstairs, to his 1970s and 1980s period, that the show explodes into colours. We are all skilled at devouring images of celebrities. Warhol wrote the book on that. His Factory Additions are more than just homages; they suck collector, viewer, artist and subject into his mercantile world view. By the time we get to the Endangered Species series – negative images of pandas and zebras worked over with layers of white or bright colours – we are ready to exit through the gift shop.

Immerse yourself in the Warholsphere. You’ll stay longer than 15 minutes.

portlandartmuseum.org

Joseph Gallivan













Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn)

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (1967), screenprint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 8-Jan 1] Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Electric Chair

Andy Warhol, Electric Chair (1971), screenprint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 8-Jan 1] Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York



 Wed, Feb 8, 2017