At the heart of this large-scale installation by the American artist Kelley Walker is a magazine advertisement created by Andy Warhol in 1975 for Pioneer hi-fi systems.

The words ‘Andy Warhol’s unfinished symphony’ appear boldly printed at the top. This found image gives the installation its name and provides a clue that media and celebrity are the subjects of Walker’s work. Walker trained at the University of Tennessee and has become known for his appropriation of images from art and popular culture in his prints and installations. By reusing and transforming these images Walker aims to shift their meanings and raise questions about their role in our society. Another prominent item featured in Andy Warhol’s Unfinished Symphony is the record sleeve for the Smiths’ 1986 single Panic, a song that laments the state of popular culture in Britain. The reference to the Smiths has a special potency in Manchester, the city where the band was formed. Elsewhere in the installation are silkscreens of appropriated adverts, a copy of the Sun newspaper from 1985, and a mirrored-stainless-steel pole that reflects both viewers and works back at themselves. Altogether, this disturbing gathering of images and texts suggests a mystery to be solved, an unsettling game of art for everybody to play.

Provenance

The artist.


Manchester Art Gallery

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Exhibitions at Manchester Art Gallery

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