Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection
- Ashmolean Museum |
- 4 February – 15 May 2016
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Lesser-known works by the Prince of Pop are shown for the first time in public, on loan from a private collection.
According to anecdotal accounts of Warhol's early years as an artist, he originally struggled to find his niche. Asking around among friends about what he should he paint, he was given many different answers – from cows to car crashes to self-portraits – but it wasn't until the gallerist Muriel Latow, suggested to him that he should focus on 'things you love the most' that he found his inspiration.
Money, celebrities and Campbell's soup – which he ate for lunch every day for 20 years – as well as other items drawn from popular culture became the unusual centrepieces of his work, these prints now so iconic they remain etched in cultural consciousness.
Excitingly, this exhibition includes some the artist's rarely-seen works, on public display for the first time. His Pop incarnations of flowers, pencils, hamburgers and Brillo pad boxes, are joined by portraits of Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Paul Anka, Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda, as well as examples of his work in film and his oxidation paintings.
Also represented are the experimental pieces he produced in the final decade of his life, such as Map of Eastern USSR Missile Bases and Detail of Last supper, which stray into political and religious territory.
A series of screen prints of Joseph Beuys reproduce a polaroid picture that Warhol took of the German artist when they came face-to-face for the first time in 1979. Although often positioned as opponents and rivals, this meeting is said to have marked the beginning of a friendship between the two men, based on mutual respect and admiration of one another's work.