Exhibition - Sidney Mishkin Gallery

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Andy Warhol:
Celebrating the Famous and the Unknown, Photographs and Silkscreen Prints

September 19 – October 20, 2014

Andy Warhol: Celebrating the Famous and the Unknown, Photographs and Silkscreen Prints exhibit

Andy Warhol
Reigning Queens, Royal Edition (Queen Beatrix), 1985

© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Baruch College will present the exhibition Andy Warhol: Celebrating the Famous and the Unknown, Photographs and Silkscreen Prints at the Mishkin Gallery from Friday, September 19 to Monday, October 20, 2014. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 18, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Andy Warhol is an icon of American Pop Art. In the 1960s, Warhol appropriated images from popular culture such as Campbell’s soup cans, Brillo soap boxes, and the faces of popular figures such as Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. His work was revolutionary and created a sensation in both the art world and with the general public. While Warhol’s dramatic, colorful prints are familiar to the public, his photographs are less well-known, providing an interesting topic for study and exhibition.

More than 70 of Warhol’s Polaroids and black and white photographs, as well as several silkscreen prints, will be on view at Baruch College’s Mishkin Gallery. The photos were acquired by the gallery via a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and are part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Project. The silkscreen prints were also donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation.

From 1970 to 1985, Andy Warhol took thousands of Polaroid photographs mostly with his Polaroid Big Shot plastic camera. These images provide an intimate glimpse into the mind of a celebrated artist at work. He photographed people both famous and unknown, viewing all these images as his “sketches,” or source material for future paintings and silkscreen prints.

The silkscreen prints and photographs included in this exhibition primarily feature figurative subjects, from famous faces such as Queen Beatrix, Sylvester Stallone, Sitting Bull, Dolly Parton, Dorothy Hamill, and Yoko Ono with her son Sean Lennon, to portraits of obscure or anonymous individuals. Warhol was, in fact, drawn to the pedestrian and commonplace as much as to spectacle and glamour, a characteristic particularly evident in his black and white photos. A study in casual spontaneity, these pictures attest to Warhol’s enduring fascination with the mundane. Many of his black and white photographs are scenes of people, buildings, or cars on the street. Collectively, they form a kind of visual diary of his comings and goings.

“I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty,” Warhol once said, and indeed these photos reveal a profound and frank, albeit fleeting, engagement with his subjects. As he did in his more famous work, Warhol used repetition and ritual in his photographs, often snapping a dozen or more carefully posed images of the same individual. The effect was to undermine or destabilize the iconic status that a single portrait can create. This tactic also tended to reveal the true idiosyncrasies of his subjects.

“Everyone Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes,” was Warhol’s most famous adage. These photographs illuminate the essential truth of this proposition, while also creating a record of the gaudy, passing glamour of the 1970s combined with nostalgia for the Polaroid snapshot. In those pre-digital times, the Polaroid was a good way of instantly capturing a moment in time.

Ranging from 1972 to 1986, with some undated examples, the Warhol silkscreens and photographs encompass more than a decade of images of famous and anonymous figures that, together, form a unique portrait of popular culture as envisioned by one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century.

Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The Sidney Mishkin Gallery is located at:
Baruch College
135 East 22nd Street at Lexington
New York City

Gallery hours are:
Monday – Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 12 noon – 7 p.m.
All exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.

© 2014 Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College

For questions about the Gallery

Sandra Kraskin - Curator
Gallery (646) 660-6652

Media Contacts

Manny Romero - Director of Public Relations
(646) 660-6141

Mercedes Sanchez

(646) 660-6112

The City University of New York