Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again is the first Warhol retrospective organized in the U.S. since 1989 and the largest in terms of its scope of ideas and range of work. The exhibit will be an occasion to experience and reconsider the work of one of the most inventive, influential and important American artists. With more than 350 works of art, many assembled together for the first time, this landmark exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, will unite all aspects, media and periods of Andy Warhol’s 40-year career.
Although Warhol’s Pop images of the 1960s are recognizable worldwide, what remains far less known is the work he produced in the 1970s and 80s. This exhibition positions Warhol’s career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn’t slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968. Instead, he entered into a period of intense experimentation, continuing to use the techniques he’d developed early on and expanding on his previous work. Taking the 1950s and his experience as a commercial illustrator as foundational, and including numerous masterpieces from the 1960s, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again tracks and reappraises the later work of the 1970s and 80s through to Warhol’s untimely death in 1987.
Experimentation With Non-Traditional Art-Making Techniques
Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Andy Warhol (1928–1987) understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the role of the artist in society, making him one of the most distinct and internationally recognized American artists of the 20th century. This exhibition sets out to prove that there remains far more to Warhol and his work than is commonly known.
Although most exhibitions, books, articles and films devoted to Warhol’s art have focused on a single medium, subject, series or period, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again will employ a chronological and thematic methodology. This approach illuminates the breadth, depth and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. The show’s title is taken from Warhol’s 1975 book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), an aphoristic memoir in which the artist gathered his thoughts on fame, love, beauty, class, money and other key themes.
Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, as well as De Salvo’s own expertise and original research conducted by the Whitney’s curatorial team, the checklist of works has been carefully selected from amongst the thousands of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, films, videos and photographs that Andy Warhol produced during his lifetime.
Schedule and Ticket Information
The Andy Warhol survey debuts at the Whitney Museum of American Art on November 12, 2018, where it will run through March 31, 2019. Following its premiere at the Whitney, the exhibition will travel to two other major American art museums, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Occupying the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, the adjacent Kaufman Gallery, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Lobby Gallery, the Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again will be the largest exhibition devoted to a single artist yet to be presented in the Whitney’s downtown location. Tickets will be available on the Whitney’s website beginning in August.