Transmitting Andy Warhol
7 November 2014 – 8 February 2015
Over 100 artworks from one of the most influential, controversial and notorious artists of the 20th century.
If there’s a shared lesson to be learned from Vincent Van Gogh and Jack Vettriano, it’s that critical acclaim and commercial success rarely go hand in hand. Yet Andy Warhol, perhaps more than any artist before or since, achieved the best of both worlds: a darling of the critics who accumulated a net worth of $220 million dollars before his death in 1987.
Warhol’s works are like Schrodinger’s cat, existing in two states at once, commercial product and cultural criticism in one. His towering Dollar Sign canvasses are as comfortable hanging in an oligarch’s mansion as they are being pored over by curators at an art gallery; the repeated faces of the Marilyn Diptych can be read as a critique of celebrity, yet the same work helped cement Monroe as a showbiz icon after her death.
Transmitting Andy Warhol is the first solo exhibition of Warhol’s work in the north of England, bringing together over 100 works across film, music, publishing and broadcasting. The Marilyn Diptych will be on display as one of the show’s highest profile works, hung among its fellow screenprints of Brillo boxes and soup cans.
Some of Warhol’s more experimental works are also on show, including pieces created during his short-lived retirement from painting. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable is an exhibition highlight: a ‘total art’ piece bringing together performances by The Velvet Underground and Nico, screenings of Warhol’s films, dancing and performance art. The work is presented in spectacular style, recreating the atmosphere of 1970s New York on Liverpool’s industrial waterfront.