Com­ing Out

Safer Space

Pho­tos: © 2021 The Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion for the Vi­su­al Arts, Inc., li­censed by Artists Rights So­ci­e­ty (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol Now

De­cem­ber 12, 2020 – June 13, 2021

Andy Warhol is in­dis­putab­ly the best-known rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Pop Art. His icon­ic sub­jects such as Mar­i­lyn, the Cam­pell’s soup can, and Co­ca-Co­la bot­tles are part of the col­lec­tive me­m­o­ry. Thir­ty years af­ter his last ret­ro­spec­tive in Cologne, Andy Warhol Now pre­sents Andy Warhol as an artist whose in­no­va­tive work can be re­dis­cov­ered, es­pe­cial­ly for a young gen­er­a­tion in the age of mi­gra­tion and so­cial di­ver­si­ty.

Andy Warhol (*1928 in Pitts­burgh–†1987 in New York) cap­ti­vat­ed and po­larized peo­ple with his per­so­n­al­i­ty, and his art shaped an en­tire era. His mul­ti­facet­ed work re­defined the boun­daries of paint­ing, sculp­ture, film, and mu­sic. Even more than his de­lib­er­ate flir­ta­tions with the world of com­merce and celebri­ties, from to­day’s per­spec­tive his ad­vo­ca­cy of al­ter­na­tive ways of life makes him an ex­cep­tio­n­al artist who can still re­veal new in­ter­pre­ta­tions and in­sights.

As a young man from a re­li­gious, work­ing-class mi­lieu, Warhol carved his own path in­to the art world, which was still dom­i­nat­ed by Ab­s­tract Ex­pres­sion­ism. In his ear­ly work, per­so­n­al, of­ten ho­moerot­ic draw­ings stood along­side com­mis­sions as a suc­cess­ful ad­ver­tis­ing il­lus­tra­tor, while his un­mis­tak­able screen prints made him the epi­t­ome of the new Pop Art move­ment. His ex­plo­ra­tions of ad­ver­tis­ing, fashion, mu­sic, film, and tele­vi­sion attest to Warhol’s life­long fas­ci­na­tion with pop cul­ture. But just as his celebri­ty por­traits and Co­ca-Co­la bot­tles held a mir­ror up to Amer­i­can so­ci­e­ty, Warhol stands for a di­verse, queer coun­ter­cul­ture that found its ex­pres­sion not least in his New York stu­dio, the Fac­to­ry.

This ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion fol­lows this path with over 100 art­works in a va­ri­e­ty of me­dia and il­lu­mi­nates Warhol’s ex­pand­ed artis­tic prac­tice against the back­drop of press­ing so­cial is­sues. Fa­mous key works such as the Elvis Pres­ley se­ries and col­or­ful vari­a­tions of an elec­tric chair are rep­re­sent­ed as well as less well-known as­pects, which al­low for a cur­rent view of this artist of the cen­tu­ry in a time of po­lit­i­cal and cul­tu­r­al up­hea­vals. For in­s­tance, it il­lu­mi­nates the in­flu­ence of Warhol’s im­mi­grant back­ground as the son of Rusyn im­mi­grants in Pitts­burgh, which is re­flect­ed in a com­plex pro­cess­ing of re­li­gious themes and sub­jects, among other things. Many works, such as the mag­ni­f­i­cent se­ries Ladies and Gentle­men, show Warhol as a queer artist who pos­tu­lat­ed open­ness and di­ver­si­ty as fun­da­men­tal and vi­tal fac­tors of a di­verse so­ci­e­ty. In this way, in his work Warhol cont­in­u­al­ly and ex­pert­ly ne­go­ti­ates top­ics that re­main high­ly rel­e­vant to­day.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is or­ganised by Mu­se­um Lud­wig and Tate Mod­ern, Lon­don in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Art Gallery of On­tario, Toron­to and As­pen Art Mu­se­um, Col­o­ra­do.

Cu­rat­ed by Yil­maz Dziewior, Di­rec­tor, Stephan Died­erich, Cu­ra­tor, Col­lec­tion of Twen­ti­eth-Cen­tu­ry Art, Mu­se­um Lud­wig, Gre­gor Muir, Di­rec­tor of Col­lec­tion, In­ter­na­tio­n­al Art and Fion­tán Mo­ran, As­sis­tant Cu­ra­tor, Tate Mod­ern.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is sup­port­ed by the Min­istry of Cul­ture and Sci­ence of North Rhine-West­phalia, the Peter and Irene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion, the REWE Group, the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst am Mu­se­um Lud­wig e.V., the Fre­unde des Wall­raf-Richartz-Mu­se­ums und Mu­se­um Lud­wig e.V., and the Stra­bag Re­al Es­tate GmbH.


You can find an overview with the most im­por­tant dates here.