After Image: Screenprints of Andy Warhol
6 September 2003 – 1 February 2004
Andy Warhol (1928–1987) is the foremost figure in the Pop Art movement, taking his themes from the famous, the shocking, the routine and the everyday. These included celebrity icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Mick Jagger, Chairman Mao, and Muhammad Ali — and products in our daily lives, such as the humble can of Campbell’s soup. These subjects are all featured in After Image: Screenprints of Andy Warhol, an exhibition of some 80 screenprints drawn principally from the National Gallery of Australia’s holdings of Warhol.
Warhol frequently borrowed from sources such as photographs in sensational tabloids or pulp magazines. He was attracted to the themes of car accidents, race riots and executions, which all appear in often macabre, trashy or banal formulations. Such obsessions hold a lingering power because of their themes of death and disaster, such as his screenprint series of the Electric chair.
Like fellow artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Warhol worked as a commercial artist. But unlike Rauschenberg and Johns, both of whom worked under an alias, Warhol had no qualms about having been a successful commercial artist. In fact, he often flaunted his commercial origins. Warhol’s expressed ideal, in fact, was to make use of mass production techniques such as screenprint for his canvases and printmaking. Calling his workshop ‘the Factory’ reiterated the artist’s intention to make an art that looked machine-made. Yet years later we see things differently in Warhol’s art — he has a distinct style and distinct choice of subject matter that is unmistakably and singularly his own.
In tandem with the exhibition of screenprints are portraits of Andy Warhol by Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Avedon. There are also photographs of key figures in Andy Warhol’s world such as the cross dresser Candy Darling, film ‘hunk’ Joe Delassandro, and independent film maker Paul Morrissey.
The exhibition opens in the Orde Poynton Gallery on 6 September 2003 and closes on 1 February 2004. It is one of a series of exhibitions planned by the International Prints and Drawings Department devoted to great graphic artists.
For further information please contact Public Affairs, phone +61 2 6240 6431 or email PublicAffairs@nga.gov.au