Andy Warhol: Portraits opens at Phoenix Art Museum on March 4, 2015. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol was at the forefront of the Pop Art movement and known for his brightly colored images. This exhibition examines Warhol’s interest in capturing the likenesses of celebrities, as well as himself. On display will be more than 170 objects, including more than 90 screen print paintings, and more than 30 drawings, videos, paintings and photographs from his student days in the 1940s to the New Wave-era 1980s. Also on view will be an installation of Warhol’s reflective Silver Clouds, helium and air-filled metalized balloons.
The portrait subjects range from Prince and Queen Elizabeth II to Jackie Kennedy and Sylvester Stallone, along with many whose 15 minutes of fame has since faded. There are also several paintings, photographs, photobooth pictures and Polaroids of Warhol himself that predate today’s fascination with “selfies.” In working closely with The Andy Warhol Museum, Phoenix Art Museum was able to secure this exhibition of portraits. “This is a great opportunity to explore a single aspect of Warhol’s art, that spans the entirety of the artist’s career,” said Jerry Smith, curator of American and European art to 1950 and art of the American West at Phoenix Art Museum.
More than 25 years after his death, Andy Warhol undeniably remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. If he was alive today Warhol undoubtedly would be heavily involved with the fame, celebrities, reality television, ”selfies”, blogs, the Internet and social media with which modern day culture is obsessed. “Warhol recognized early on the growing trend of celebrity worship in our society, and of the powerful cult of famous personalities that dominates popular culture today,” said Amanda Cruz, The Sybil Harrington Director at Phoenix Art Museum. She added, “He documented his social circle of society swans, movie stars and the demimonde of the 1960s and 1970s, providing a glamorous view of that era.”
Andy Warhol: Portraits will be on view at Phoenix Art Museum from March 4 to June 21, 2015. The exhibition was organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Support was made possible through the generosity of Sue and Bud Selig, JPMorgan Chase & Co., J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Contemporary Forum (a support organization of Phoenix Art Museum), APS, Cohn Financial Group, LLC, Sharron and Delbert R. Lewis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Sharon and Lloyd Powell, Heather and Michael Greenbaum, Cox and The Phoenician. For additional information about the exhibition please visit phxart.org/exhibition/warholportraits.