There's no doubt that Warhol was all about pushing the boundaries in art. At the time he hit the art scene, abstract expressionism was the favored style in modern art (think Motherwell or Pollock or Rothko). Not only did Warhol move away from abstract expressionism, some people consider him responsible for the "death of painting." Rather than stand in front of an easel and create a work using paints and a paintbrush, Warhol appropriated images created by others and "took the hand out of art". Wendi used this last phrase repeatedly when talking about Warhol's contributions to the art world, and it took me a bit of time to actually wrap my head around it. Warhol took images already in existence and turned them into art. Sometimes his raw material was a box of brillo pads; sometimes it was a photograph taken by someone else. Often he turned the image over to someone else--or a machine--to actually create the work. Pretty revolutionary.
|Richard Prince's Marlboro Man|
As I find myself digressing from the actual Regarding Warhol exhibit, I am realizing both why it took me so long to tackle writing about this exhibit and, much more importantly, what a thought-provoking show it was. (Again, I must give Wendi and her encyclopedic art knowledge a good deal of credit for making me really consider some of these questions rather than just giving them a flitting thought while passing through the show.) The show did get a fair amount of criticism from the art world for a variety of reasons, with the most significant being that it's unclear whether many of the artists whose works are displayed were actually influenced by Warhol. The review in the NY Times made the point that not all of the living artists whose work was included in the exhibit were interviewed for the show and that at least one artist came right out and said that any connection between her work and Warhol's was tenuous at best. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/books/review/regarding-warhol-sixty-artists-fifty-years.html?emc=eta1 Whatever the criticisms, I enjoyed both seeing and thinking about the show immensely. And now it's time for a nap.