Retrospective: Andy Warhol

ISBN: 9781854374103
Artist(s): Andy Warhol
Author(s): Heiner Bastian
Format: paperback
Year published: 2002
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 368
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour and black and white throughout


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This volume is published to accompany a major European retrospective of the work of Andy Warhol, presenting him as the most significant chronicler of the second half of the 20th century. The collection of over 220 images show how his work reflected and commented on themes in American society that were also becoming international: consumerism, mass-production, celebrity, death and disaster. In the four essays Warhol scholars propose new ways of approaching the art of this enigmatic figure. Heiner Bastian, drawing on his friendship with Warhol, traces his development from commercial graphic artist to purely autonomous artist with international status. He extends the concept of Classic Modernism to almost the end of the 20th century and shows Warhol to be a deeply moral artist. Kirk Varnedoe examines the significance of Warhol’s first exhibition of 1962 of the series of “Campbells Soup Cans”, exploring the themes of the multiple. Donna De Salvo takes the concept of the “afterimage” in Warhol’s work as a starting point for considering his painterly strategy. She shows how Warhol had a very subtle awareness of the surface in contemporary culture, tracing this back to his work for advertising agencies. Peter-Claus Schuster makes a resonant comparison between the work of Warhol and Goya, both depicted atrocity. Warhol’s ” Death and Disaster” sequences can be seen not as depictions of a callous, unjust society, but rather as a critique of the media message and the resulting desensitization of public consciousness. Ultimately, however, he warns against any simplistic reductions and proposes Andy Warhol to be a complex mixture of victim, superstar and redeemer.


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