It is no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I am all about Andy Warhol. When it comes to matters of the art (pun intended) Geoffrey and I will agree on most things, but we differ slightly in opinion when it comes to Warhol. While he admits to being a fan, Geoffrey has a love/hate relationship with Andy, feeling that he ruined art as much as he saved it by facilitating the “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” approach to everyman stardom that has created such reprehensible pieces of shit as The Real Housewives, Big Brother and the Kardashian sisters. I see his point, but I would have to respectfully disagree with his take that Warhol “ruined” art in any way. On the contrary, by being the very first artist to infiltrate fine art with a commercial art approach and accompanying sensibilities, Warhol made art truly accessible to the masses for the first time in history. In this way, he revolutionized Modern Art as we know it. Regardless of his many eccentricities and the commonly held belief that he was somewhat of an asshole in person, Andy Warhol was a maverick pioneer of staggering genius. He is my favorite artist ever in the Universe of all time. Andy Warhol!
Easter Eggs, Photo By Geoffrey Dicker
You can probably imagine then how excited I was to finally have the time to check out Andy Warhol: The Last Decade, which has been up for over a month now over at the Brooklyn Museum. The Last Decade is the first US museum retrospective to examine the later period work of Andy Warhol (who died in 1987). With close to fifty works in the collection, the exhibition reveals a “renewed spirit of experimentation” that Warhol experienced in his final ten years. At this time, Warhol produced more works in series form, and on a vastly larger scale, than at any other point in his forty-year career. With his controversial Oxidations series as well as his Yarn, Rorschach and Camouflage paintings, the visual style of his work progressed along with the introduction of new techniques. Inspired by collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring, Warhol also returned to hand-painted images using a brush.
Camouflage (Reminds Me a Little of This)
The Last Decade is much different from another recent Warhol exhibit I saw back in February of 2009, Warhol Live at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum which, while comprehensive, was primarily about Warhol’s portraits. With exception of the “Fright Wig” self-portraits (one of which provides the primary image used by the museum for promoting this exhibit) and the Interview Magazine cover portraits, I’d never seen any of these images on exhibit before. And discovering something new about an artist who’s already been dead for over two decades is always fun.
Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at The Brooklyn Museum (in the 1st Floor Robert E. Blum Gallery and the 5th Floor Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing) runs through September 12, 2010. From Manhattan take the 2 or 3 to the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stop, and you’re right there.