Andy and Oz: Parallel Visions
A collaboration between the National Gallery of Australia
and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA.
11 October until 30 December 2007
Christian Bumbarra Thompson 'Andy Warhol' 2004 C-type print Collection of the National Gallery of Australia more detail
It’s a parallel universe, a happening thing
For the 1960s Warhol’s colour was silver … astronauts marched in their shiny space suits everywhere in the media. The Velvet Underground performed ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ while Warhol’s antique mirror ball splintered spotlights into millions of diamond shards. His gently floating silver ‘Clouds’ series of 1966 represented the apogee of the silver theme.1
Andy and Oz: parallel visions is the international event to coincide with the National Gallery of Australia’s silver anniversary, marking twenty-five years since the Gallery first opened its doors to the public. A joint initiative between the National Gallery and The Andy Warhol Museum, the exhibition is also taking place in the year that marks twenty years since Warhol’s untimely death. The initial proposal for the show was to select works from the National Gallery’s collection considering the influence of Warhol on Australian artists. This presented some difficulties. Some artists in the national collection clearly have stronger links with Warhol than others. Yet some of the less expected parallels are as intriguing. Therefore, in the selection process with Thomas Sokolowski, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum, the idea of establishing links with Warhol’s art evolved laterally in terms of shared ideas and ways of working, differences of opinion, snapshots of pivotal connections and parallel visions, to enable lively ‘conversations’ between artists’ works to occur.
As the exhibition developed surprising parallels emerged across three groupings. The first includes Martin Sharp, Richard Larter and Robert Rooney – artists who experienced the era when British and American Pop art came to the fore (although it is perhaps only Sharp who would feel at ease with the idea of being called a Pop artist). All three have worked with popular culture and ideas around the everyday. All have worked across media: painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, graphic design, photography and film. The second group includes Fiona Hall and Tim Horn who relate to Warhol in their obsessive ways of working; in their almost fetishist approach to making things, combining seemingly disparate elements and using unexpected materials from everyday contexts in their investigations of sexuality, nature and culture. The third group includes artists working in photo-based media: Tracey Moffatt, Juan Davila, Liu Xiao Xian and Christian Thompson – artists whose work suggests parallels with Warhol’s in terms of their unconventional, theatrical approaches and their distinctive takes on cultural and personal identities.
1 Andy Warhol, 365 takes: The Andy Warhol Collection, by the staff of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA, 2004, p. 133
This exhibition is proudly supported by the National Gallery of Australia Council Exhibitions Fund