Andy Warhol (Great Masters) by Eric Shanes

By Eric Shanes

Andy Warhol used to be an artist who surely placed his finger at the pulse of contemporary tradition. via pioneering various strategies, yet mostly through the visible isolation of images, its repetition and enforced similarity to revealed photographs, and using garish color to indicate the visible garishness that's frequently encountered in mass tradition, he threw a lot direct or oblique gentle upon glossy anomie or world-weariness, nihilism, materialism, political manipulation, financial exploitation, conspicuous intake, media hero-worship, and the production of artificially-induced wishes and aspirations. furthermore, in his top work and prints he was once a truly advantageous writer of pictures, with an exceptional color feel and an excellent believe for the visible rhythm of an image which resulted from his extreme wisdom of the pictorial prospects inherent in kinds. first and foremost, his pictures may possibly seem really uncomplicated. but as a result of that very simplicity they not just get pleasure from a excessive measure of fast visible effect, but additionally own the infrequent energy of projecting large implications throughout the psychological institutions they set in movement. for instance, the visible repetition that Warhol hired inside a very good a lot of his pictures was once meant, associatively, to parallel the titanic repetition of pictures which are hired in a mass-culture to be able to promote items and prone. This contains automobiles of conversation similar to videos and television programmes. through incorporating into his photographs the very recommendations of mass construction which are imperative to a latest business society, Warhol without delay reflected higher cultural makes use of and abuses, whereas emphasising, to the purpose of absurdity, the whole detachment from emotional dedication that he observed in every single place round him. additionally, as well as utilizing imagery derived from pop culture with a purpose to provide a critique of up to date society, Warhol additionally carried ahead the attacks on paintings and bourgeois values that the Dadaists had past pioneered; by way of manipulating photos and the general public personality of the artist he used to be capable of throw again in our faces the contradictions and superficialities of up to date artwork and tradition. eventually, it's the trenchancy of his cultural critique, in addition to the vivaciousness with which he imbued it, that might without doubt lend his works their carrying on with relevance lengthy after the actual gadgets he represented - reminiscent of Campbell's Soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles - have might be turn into technologically superseded, or the phenomenal humans he depicted, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Mao Zedong, have become seemed basically because the superstars of the day before today.

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He also further extended his subject-matter by depicting serried ranks of Coca-Cola bottles, S & H Green Stamps, airmail stamps and stickers, and ‘Glass – Handle with Care’ labels. And simultaneously he moved in a different direction too. On 4 June 1962 Warhol lunched at Serendipity with Henry Geldzahler who told him: That’s enough af f irmation of life… Maybe everything isn’t so fabulous in America. It’s time for some death. This is what’s really happening. ’ Once again Warhol immediately grasped the underlying cultural implications of such imagery and created the painting of the selfsame front page that is reproduced below.

The exhibition created a sensation, and just a week later, on 6 November 1962, Warhol finally made his New York debut with his Stable Gallery show. , another Dance Diagram painting that was again placed on the floor with an invitation to dance over it, the Red Elvis, and several Coca-Cola bottles and soup can pictures. The exhibition was an almost total sell-out, for it generated enthusiastic responses that were worthy of the artist’s highest aspirations down the years. Never again would Warhol leave the public eye during his lifetime.

Once the Marilyns series was completed, Warhol used the silkscreen technique to create further sets of the soup cans, Coke bottles, coffee cans and dollar bills images he had so laboriously painted earlier that year, as well as embarking upon new sets of images of movie and pop music stars such as Liz Taylor, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley. All this hard work soon paid off, for in the summer of 1962 Warhol was at last promised a show in New York, to be held at Elinor Ward’s Stable Gallery. A foretaste of what the public would see there came at the end of October when Warhol exhibited some of his works in a group Pop Art show, entitled ‘The New Realists’: a large painting of a Campbell’s soup can; a picture bringing together 200 Campbell’s soup cans in ten ranks of twenty cans; a Do-it-yourself painting; and one of the Dance Diagram pictures which was exhibited under glass on the floor.

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