London’s Tate Modern has shared a curator’s tour of its latest Andy Warhol exhibition, made available to view digitally on the museum’s official website.
The Andy Warhol display will now be on show until April 2021 and it’s curators, Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran, look at Warhol through the lens of his immigrant story, as well as his LGBTQ+ identity. The wide-ranging show also offers Warhol’s thoughts on death and religion rather than just debating the art itself.
Alongside the launch of the virtual exhibition, a video featuring curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran was released to accompany the display following the gallery’s closure due to strict social distancing measures. Now, as millions of people are forced to stay home in quarantined self-isolation, the iconic work of Warhol is being made available online.
The exhibition, which is the Tate’s first Warhol show in almost 20 years, will feature 100 works including iconic portraits from his pop art period which includes Elvis I and II, Marilyn Diptych, a 1980 portrait of Debbie Harry and more. It
Among the work to be exhibited will be the extremely rare collection of 25 African American and Latinx drag queen and trans women paintings. The work, first commissioned in 1974 by Italian art dealer Luciano Anselmino, were an immediate reaction to the death of trans actor Candy Darling—a creative who starred in Warhol’s controversial film Flesh just a few years prior. “It is one of Warhol’s biggest series of works but probably the least known,” Fiontán Moran, co-curator of the show, said. “Through today’s lens it is particularly relevant with the recent anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. I think this was a project that was close to Warhol’s heart.”
The curators had this to say about their exhibition on the pioneering pop artist: “Curating an Andy Warhol exhibition in the present-day means confronting a world where everyone has a mental projection of the artist and his production. Everyone owns Warhol. He is one of those rare artists who transcends the art world, having become widely known as one of America’s most famous artists, if not one of America’s most famous Americans. Over time, Warhol became—and still is—a big brand, which is just how he wanted it.”
Tate also discusses how we still feel Warhol’s impact in culture today: “When many think of him, they still turn to pop art and images of soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles, Marilyn’s and Jackie’s. Yet most of these works were produced in the early part of the 1960s at the artist’s first home on Lexington Avenue, not the Silver Factory, as people imagine. The reality being that Warhol’s enduring influence can be found in his long-running investment in experimental film and TV, as well as his ongoing fascination with celebrity, business art, pop music and commercial publications.”
However, the most important takeaway for the curators remains their aim to reveal more about the man behind the art: “We wanted to look at Warhol for who he was, taking into account his family’s journey to America from eastern Europe, his queer identity, and the way in which his work would ultimately be informed by death and religion. With this in mind, we wanted to look at Warhol afresh.”
Visit the virtual tour, here.