Artist Andy Warhol, creator of now legendary paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, is the inspiration for a major new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, opening Sept. 18.
Called “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” the exhibit displays almost 50 works by Warhol — paintings, sculpture and films — alongside 100 works by some 60 other artists inspired by his creations. The museum says it is the first major exhibition to explore Warhol's full impact on the contemporary art world.
The exhibit also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s first major one-man show, at a Los Angeles gallery, of his “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans,” individual paintings of 32 varieties of soup that were displayed side-by-side, like cans of soup on a grocery store shelf.
Mark Rosenthal, a curator of the exhibit, said in its catalogue that from almost the start of his career, Warhol “cast a very broad shadow over the art world, one that covers a period of about fifty years and has had a sweeping effect on a group of far more than that number of artists from around the globe. Among his influential pursuits, he made art the province of all manner of prosaic themes and sources; he put photography, appropriation and serial composition at the center of his methodology; and he gave permission to do virtually anything in the name of art. By his example, the premises and practices of art-making were dramatically transformed.”
In addition to the exhibit, on display through Dec. 31, 2012, the museum is offering a series of related concerts, talks and tours, including a tribute by singer Patti Smith and a discussion of Warhol and reality TV. Warhol — whose quote, “In the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes,” is now itself world-famous — developed his own TV series, “Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes,” for MTV in 1985.
Andy Cohen, producer of “Real Housewives” and “Top Chef,” and a participant in the museum’s reality TV discussion, said, “We now live in a world where everybody is famous. Warhol was amused by the success of the first reality show, ‘An American Family.’ His philosophy was everybody is a star. I think he’d be amused” by reality TV today.
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