Warhol’s return to Tate Modern
Get ready to snap up your tickets, Tate Modern’s first Andy Warhol exhibition for almost 20 years opens in less than two weeks.
Featuring more than 100 works, this major retrospective of one of the most recognisable artists of the late 20th century will provide a new lens through which to view the American icon, too.
Debbie Harry 1980. Private Collection of Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport 1961 © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London
Best known for his iconic paintings that held up a mirror to American culture – his Marilyn Monroe screen prints and Campbell’s Soup Cans will be on display – the exhibition will emphasise recurring themes around desire, identity and belief that emerge from his biography.
The Warhola family, who emigrated from the former Czechoslovak Republic, were devout followers of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church, and the impact of the strong religious conviction of Julia Warhola, Andy’s mother with whom he lived for most of his life, is considered as a significant context to his work.
Sixty Last Suppers 1986. Nicola Erni Collection © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London.
Warhol’s 10-metre wide canvas Sixty Last Suppers will be on display as a UK first and is one of several in the exhibition that will illustrate how the themes of faith and mortality recur throughout Warhol’s work in response to his religious upbringing. Created in 1986, a few months before the artist died in his sleep while recovering from gallbladder surgery, the work depicts six rows of 10 silkscreened images, each a black-and-white reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic mural The Last Supper.
Warhol’s sexuality is also an important theme that’s explored, beginning with a selection of his early line drawings of male portraits and nudes from the 1950s. A room will also be dedicated to the largest grouping of his 1975 Ladies and Gentlemen series ever shown in the UK. These portraits depict figures from New York’s transgender community, including iconic performer and activist, Marsha 'Pay it no mind' Johnson – a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969, and will be shown for the first time in 30 years.
Boy with Flowers 1955-7. ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Licensed by DACS, London.
Ladies and Gentlemen (Alphanso Panell) 1975. Italian private collection © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London
Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross) 1975. Italian private collection © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London
Fans of the pop period won’t be disappointed either with works such as Marilyn Diptych 1962, Elvis I and II 1963/1964 and Race Riot 1964 on display, as well as Warhol’s floating Silver Clouds 1966 installation, which was initially meant to signal his ‘retirement’ from painting in favour of moviemaking.
Andy Warhol will run from the 12th March to 6th September 2020 at Tate Modern.