Gallery goes POP: WARHOL

Feb. 7 – April 12, 2019
Opening Reception: Feb. 7, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Gallery Talk at 7:15 p.m. featuring Nicole Dezelon of the Andy Warhol Museum

The last exhibition entitled “gallery goes P O P: Warhol” was an exhibition featuring 34 silk screened images, 30 images lent from The Cochran Collection, a private collector, and 4 images were lent courtesy of the Ackland Museum, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC.

Andy Warhol’s silkscreened prints gives us a range and variety of the American artist’s unique body from his Myths Series, Cowboys and Indians Series, Ads Series, Art and Sports Series, and to include his Icon Portraits and Moonwalk Suite.

A highlight of these images included: The Witch, Mickey Mouse, John Wayne, Donald Duck, Sitting Bull, Grace Kelly and more.

Press Release, Feb. 2, 2019

Pop art comes to Fayetteville in Andy Warhol exhibit

Long before Michael Jackson dubbed himself the King of Pop, Andy Warhol would have been a good candidate for the title. The New York-based artist came to fame in the 1960s and ’70s, appropriating images from popular culture, from Campbell Soup cans to Marilyn Monroe portraits. And he became a part of that culture, a highly visible presence on the New York art and club scene until his death in 1987.

Beginning Thursday and continuing through April 12, Methodist University is featuring 34 of Warhol’s silk screens in the David McCune International Art Gallery in an exhibition called “Gallery Goes Pop: Warhol.”

The works feature depictions of some of Warhol’s pop culture obsessions, from Mick Jagger to John Wayne, from Uncle Sam to Mickey Mouse. Annie Oakley, Grace Kelly and Howdy Doody also make appearances.

“I’m excited that I can bring this to the gallery and the university and the community,” said Silvana Foti, executive director of the gallery. “I think it’s going to be a fun show.”

Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in 1928 in Pittsburgh. After studying commercial art, he moved to New York and found work in magazine illustration and advertising art. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Warhol began showing his work at galleries. Often, his paintings consisted of faithful renditions of everyday objects such as dollar bills, Coca-Cola bottles and, of course, Campbell Soup cans. Over time, Warhol became a pop art and cultural sensation, creating many of his works in New York studios dubbed The Factory. He also branched out into avant-garde movies and produced the first album by pioneering rock group The Velvet Underground. The artist assumed a lower profile after he was shot and nearly killed in 1968. Starting in the ’70s, he focused more on portrait art, co-founded Interview magazine and became a regular at famed nightspots such as Studio 54. He died at age 58 after gall bladder surgery.

Nicole Dezelon, associate director of learning at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, will be visiting Fayetteville for the Methodist University exhibit. She will train docents, give a short talk at Thursday’s opening reception and present a public program on silk screen printing. Dezelon said the Methodist exhibit features an interesting cross section of Warhol’s silk screen work.

The exhibit includes works from Warhol’s Myth, Cowboys and Indians and Ad portfolios. Most of the numbered prints come from the Cochran Collection in Georgia; four are from the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill. There is also a napkin signed by Warhol.

“The ’80s seem to figure prominently in the exhibition,” Dezelon said in a telephone interview. “We do have some ’70s work, especially with the Mick Jagger, which was done in 1975.” The earliest of the works dates to 1968, Dezelon said. Dezelon said Warhol worked on the prints in his studio using assistants. He would outsource the actual silk screening process, she said. “What he was really good at was developing this process of under-painting,” Dezelon said. “He would kind of do a tracing of the photograph and then he would paint it by hand, kind of blocking in huge chunks of color.”

Dezelon said there was controversy in the art world over how much of the work Warhol actually did himself. She said his system of using assistants is more common today. But Warhol’s training as an artist showed through in his talent for composition and skilled use of color, Dezelon said. For the basis of his portraits, Warhol often used publicity stills and photographs from magazines, Dezelon said. She said an artist doing that today would likely run into copyright issues. “He was literally kind of lifting them from print and using them in his art work,” Dezelon said. Dezelon said Warhol’s fascination with celebrity began when he was a boy growing up in Pittsburgh, keeping scrapbooks of Hollywood stars. He wanted to be famous himself, and he fulfilled that dream, although perhaps not in any way he had imagined. Arguably, Dezelon said, Warhol was one of the first people to merge art and celebrity. Warhol has his critics, but whatever one thinks of his work, Dezelon said his influence cannot be denied. “He’s one of the most important pop artists. The pop conversation does not go far without a mention of Warhol, especially in America,” she said. “He was noted as the King of Pop and he wears that badge well.”

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