Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Andy Warhol at Nassau County Museum of Art

In Andy Warhol Silkscreens, Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) presents a select exhibition of work by an audacious pioneer who, by using images of popular American culture and commerce, altered perceptions about what constitutes art. The exhibition runs through May 26 in NCMA’s Library Gallery, showcases some of Warhol’s classic pop subjects among them Marilyn Monroe, Mao Tse-Tung, Superman, Campbell Soup Cans, Dollar Signs and Martha Graham/The Kick. In these and other prints, Warhol incorporates many of the same techniques that he used in his paintings, As a result, Warhol prints have soared in both esteem and value to the point that they’re presently selling for what Warhol paintings might have fetched just a decade ago.

No other artist is as much identified with Pop Art as Andy Warhol, dubbed the Prince of Pop by the media of his time. Warhol grew up in a Pittsburgh working class family and studied commercial art at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology. Upon his graduation in 1949 he went to New York where he worked in commercial advertising and as an illustrator for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In the 60s, Warhol began painting objects that were part of daily life, such as soup cans and Coke bottles. Soon Warhol became a famous figure in the New York art scene. From 1962 on he started making silkscreen prints of famous personalities like Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. Warhol challenged and even removed the line between fine art and commercial art used for magazines, comic books and advertising.

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