WARHOL! WARHOL! WARHOL!
Ray Gross Pop Art Porcelains
Tequesta, Florida; January 13 – March 23, 2022
One of the most famous artists of the 20th century - Andy Warhol - is on exhibit at Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, Florida.
The show, appropriately titled WARHOL! WARHOL! WARHOL! fills the entire Spencer gallery. This selection of original artwork from the private collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody includes early works that are rarely seen, as well as experimental pieces from later in Warhol's established career. The Schorr gallery features a homage to the Pop Art movement with Ray Gross Pop Art Porcelains with an installation of hyper-realistic ceramics including a life-size porcelain Harley Davidson created by the noted ceramicist Ray Gross.
The Schorr Gallery also showcases metalsmiths and jewelers from across the country who responded to a juried nationwide call to artists for Warhol Inspired Pop Art Jewelry made exclusively for this show. These pieces cover one whole wall in the pop-up space while Paper Alchemy, an invitational exhibit, fills one of the smaller gallery spaces with unique works that introduce Thurmanite, a new sculptural medium.
"Art is what you can get away with."
The meteoric rise of Warhol in brief...
Andy Warhol arrived in Manhattan in 1949, carrying a portfolio filled with artwork from his days at Carnegie Institute of Technology and it wasn't long before a family friend introduced the 21 year old to the art director at Glamour magazine. This shy kid with patchy skin and a slight build had artwork that was entirely unlike the polished pieces she normally used. Tina Fredericks gave him his first freelance job creating fresh illustrations to be used in ads for I.Miller shoes.
Warhol grew up in WWII Pittsburgh, the steel town that considered itself the backbone of America, and given this opportunity to work with Glamour Magazine, his work ethic went into overdrive. He bore down on his future with ink and a brush, and painted for eighteen hours a day.
Destined to make a name for himself in the city, Andy's commercial art career flourished when he reliably delivered high-quality designs ahead of schedule. But, it took over ten years for him to cross over from low to high art. It was 1962, when his first gallery show displayed the 32 iconic paintings of Campbell's Soup. One for each flavor. The collection originally sold for a total of $1,000, by 1987 the soup cans claimed a page in history when they were purchased by MOMA for $11.7 million.
At the Carnegie he'd been taught to appreciate commercial art as well as fine art. Although Warhol did not invent the Pop Art movement, he certainly joined it in the late 50s and 60s when he made popular culture the focus in his original paintings. During a long stretch of his career he used silk screen as an unorthodox medium to create highly controversial, yet wildly collectible prints of Marilyn, Mao, and Elizabeth. His later provocative pieces like the Death and Disaster pictures, made the art world practically apoplectic, and the fame that resulted, coupled with his childhood obsession for movie stars, gave rise to a celebrity conscious alt-society that filled his inner circle. Luminaries, including politicians, movie stars, and more than one heiress flocked to him for attention.
In a recent New York Times article, Alice Cooper claimed that although he knew Warhol from the Manhattan club scene, they weren't friends. "Warhol's group was too weird for me." Cooper said.
In 1967 Warhol barely survived a deliberate gunshot at close range. The wounds affected his mental and physical health until his unexpected death 19 years later. By the time "Warhol" was inscribed on his headstone, at 59 years old, he had become the leader of the Pop Art movement. His was a household name, and this fragile kid from Pittsburgh had signature work held in significant public and private art collections around the world.
WARHOL! WARHOL! WARHOL! The art exhibition at Lighthouse ArtCenter, shows a wide selection of his evocative works, from those early I. Miller shoe illustrations to the late career experimental Oxidation Paintings made of urine and metallic pigment on canvas. Visitors can argue over the aesthetic value of his silk screen prints of lips, or they can take a walk on the wild side, back to the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they appear stitched together in six black and white silver gelatin prints created from 1976-86.
In the News
Florida Weekly - (1/6/22) - How Dandy! (It’s Andy!)
Florida Weekly - (01/6/22): Top Things To Do
WQCS 88.9 FM - (1/19/22): "From Habitat for Humanity to Andy Warhol we have the latest happenings on the Treasure Coast on this week's In Focus"
Florida Weekly - (2/23/22): "Still the Boss"
Legends Radio - (3/6/22): Warhol! Warhol! Warhol! Interview