Warhol in the spot­light

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Andy Warhol is not only one of the world’s best known artists, but one of few who was fa­mous and fetched high prices while alive.

Since his death in 1987, his reach has be­come per­va­sive, with exhibitions, books and more, and his works are far more valu­able. In 2008, his 1963 screen print, Eight Elvises, sold for a record break­ing US$100 mil­lion (NZ$123m).

But de­spite Warhol’s pop­u­lar­ity, most peo­ple have only a vague idea of the range of his work or the man him­self, says Te Papa’s con­tem­po­rary art cu­ra­tor, Sarah Far­rar.

‘‘Warhol’s such a pop­u­lar icon, but we have quite a one- di­men­sional idea of him. Ev­ery­body thinks they know Warhol.’’

Far­rar hopes Te Papa’s new ex­hi­bi­tion, Warhol: Im­mor­tal, which opened last week­end, will change peo­ple’s views.

"The ex­hi­bi­tion will not have what most peo­ple recog­nise as Warhol’s popart pe­riod that first brought

a’rt – Te rary

Pkan­poaw­coWn­taer­mho­plo. cu­ra­tor, Sarah Far­rar him world at­ten­tion. The ex­hi­bi­tion doesn’t in­clude Camp­bell soup cans or Brillo boxes,’’ she says.

The de­ci­sion was de­lib­er­ate. Far­rar de­cided that the more than 100 works, in­clud­ing film and video, would fo­cus on Warhol’s ob­ses­sion with peo­ple through­out his ca­reer, as well as his many self­por­traits.

From vin­tage fam­ily pho­to­graphs, to Po­laroids and his film ‘‘ screen tests’’, it gives a broader view of the artist, with works from as early as the 1940s and his stu­dent days.

‘‘There are so many dif­fer­ent Warhol shows that you could do.

‘‘What I’ve loved about work­ing on this show is find­ing out about his early draw­ings. In the 1950s, for ex­am­ple, he did a show called ‘Draw­ings for a Boy Book’, which are th­ese won­der­ful, kind of ho­mo­erotic draw­ings.

‘‘That’s one as­pect of his work this show starts to look at.’’

Far­rar sourced most of the works from the Andy Warhol Mu­seum in the artist’s home town of Pitts­burgh. A few are from else­where, in­clud­ing a self­por­trait – ‘‘ an in­cred­i­ble work’’, says Far­rar – from the National Gallery of Vic­to­ria in Melbourne.

Many of the works have rarely been shown in Aus­trala­sia be­fore and Warhol: Im­mor­tal is one of the largest Warhol shows in New Zealand since The Warhol Look ret­ro­spec­tive at the Auck­land Art Gallery in 1999.

That ex­hi­bi­tion was a dis­ap­point­ment for the gallery, be­cause it at­tracted fewer than half the ex­pected 50,000 vis­i­tors.

LE­GEND: Works by famed artist Andy Warhol on dis­play at Te Papa fo­cus on his ob­ses­sion with peo­ple.

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