Throughout the decades, various aspects of the grandiose and rather complex artistic practice of Andy Warhol was explored; however, from time to time certain details of the same are reinterpreted and contextualized according to the latest researches.
For instance, The Prince of Pop was fascinated with women and femininity in general. Warhol adorned Hollywood divas, and was dazzled with their style, extravagant behavior, and lavish lifestyles. Such a devotion was transferred further to his Superstars – most of them being female, such as Eddie Sedgwick, or trans and drag queens, such as Candy Darling or Holly Woodlawn.
Throughout his entire career, he devotedly represented women regardless of age, figure, race or fame. Therefore, Lévy Gorvy gallery decided to present an extensive exhibition titled Warhol Women by featuring his portraits of women from the early 1960s through the 1980s.
The Warhol Women
This particular exhibition is aimed to explore how important women were to Andy Warhol; it will reflect on the artist’s complex and contradictory connection to ideals of femininity, beauty, and power, so it can be said that all of the works (made through his signature silk screen process) will show the ambiguities which hoover throughout entire Warhol’s oeuvre.
The show will transmit an intriguing intimacy of the portrayed subjects and will shed new light on the artist’s oeuvre in both historical and contemporary context of female empowerment and the construction of identity.
The exhibition will open with portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy (which will be described more closely in the text below), as well as Triple Mona Lisa from 1963; this particular piece is a reproduction of one of the best-known paintings made and is an homage to the timeliness of the female beauty.
The following segment will be devoted to Warhol’s earliest portraits such as the 1963 portraits of socialite and art collector Ethel Scull. Other paintings feature marginal figures as in the mid-1970s series Ladies and Gentleman series, which represent black and Hispanic drag queens which Warhol encounter in New York.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Warhol was focused on the celebrity culture meaning that a number of paintings and other works featured mostly women from popular movies, music, fashion, politics, and high society in a standardized square format, so the closing segment of the exhibition will present these works (based on the images taken with a Polaroid camera).
Andy Warhol at Lévy Gorvy
After all, stated above, it is important to note that the upcoming exhibition could not be possible without the loans from important public and privately owned institutions such as the Brant Foundation and the Froehlich Collection from Germany.
The selection of Warhol’s famous Screen Tests (short, silent, black-and-white films) will additionally contribute to a better understanding of the artist’s perception and representation of femininity. The projection will be located in a room coated in aluminum foil which evokes the silver environment of the Factory where these films were produced.
Warhol Women will be on display at Levy Gorvy in New York from 25 April until 15 June 2019.
Let us now take a look at six outstanding, memorable portraits of women created by Andy Warhol.
Featuring more than 300 portraits made from the early 1960s until the artist’s death in 1987, Andy Warhol Portraits is the first book to provide a comprehensive view of this overlooked body of work, which includes such well-known twentieth-century icons as Jackie Kennedy, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, and Queen Elizabeth, as well as many paintings largely unknown even to avid Warhol followers. With contextualizing essays by longtime Warhol collaborator Tony Shafrazi and art critics Carter Ratcliff and Robert Rosenblum, Andy Warhol Portraits is a facebook of the amazing cast of characters that populated Warhol’s fascinating, star-studded, and, at times, sordid world.
Featured images: Andy Warhol – Triple Mona Lisa, 1963. Silkscreen ink on linen, 22 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches (56.5 x 100.3 cm) © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. All images courtesy Lévy Gorvy.
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