Aspen Art Museum To Be The Sole U.S. Venue For A Revelatory Andy Warhol Exhibition, Opening December 3, 2021
Museum-wide survey, shown in the city Warhol frequented for two decades, lays bare the biographical underpinnings of the artist’s achievements
ASPEN, COLORADO (August 6, 2021) – Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon Director of the Aspen Art Museum, today announced that AAM will be the sole U.S. venue for a major international retrospective on the work of Andy Warhol, bringing an exhibition to a city that maintained close, long-standing connections with the artist and his work. Organized by Tate Modern and Museum Ludwig, Cologne in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario and AAM, the exhibition focuses on the biographical underpinnings of Warhol’s practice, specifically expanding on lesser-known aspects of his work and persona. Opening in Aspen on December 3, 2021 and running through March 27, 2022, Andy Warhol: Lifetimes breaks new ground by casting a queer eye on the artist as an outsider and disruptor, who remade America’s image to resonate with a queer sensibility.
In keeping with the Aspen Art Museum’s artist-centered approach, the AAM invited artist Monica Majoli to re-conceptualize the staging of the exhibition, as envisioned by previous iterations.
The exhibition at AAM continues a link between the artist and the city dating back to 1966 when Warhol came to present his work at the Aspen Institute. That same year, he designed and edited the third issue of Aspen Magazine (1965-71), creating a deconstructed multimedia magazine-in-a-box.
Over the years he made the effort to ski Buttermilk Mountain and partied at Aspen’s beloved Andre’s Club, which he likened to Studio 54. At the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts (ACVA), the precursor to the Aspen Art Museum, Warhol’s work was featured in the Center’s inaugural exhibition in 1979 and was the subject of a solo show in 1984, which was Colorado’s last museum exhibition of Warhol’s work.
Said AAM Director Nicola Lees, “The Aspen Art Museum is delighted to present this intimate portrayal of Andy Warhol, which peers into the spectral persona that the artist created to transcend his personal limitations, generating a cultural myth, mirror, and decoder that has enchanted the modern world for decades. By presenting his canonical works alongside archival and direct source materials, the exhibition will give viewers an unprecedented opportunity to examine Warhol’s life as parallel to his work, ultimately establishing a new appreciation for this visionary artist of incomparable importance.”
Said artist Monica Majoli, “Everyone has their own vision of Andy Warhol, an elusive figure who is virtually synonymous with American popular culture of the late 20th century. Even after his untimely passing in 1987, Warhol continues to inform our contemporary moment through his prescient, uncanny grasp of the drama and consequences of capitalism in the American psyche.”
Informed by the vernacular of celebrity, driven by consumerism, and bound together by new forms of media, Warhol’s four decades of work tapped into a culture fundamentally affixed to images and aspiration. Organized thematically as an encounter with Warhol’s career over his lifetime, the exhibition includes over 200 works, juxtaposing the eras to propose connections among divergent bodies of work and gain insight into Warhol’s concerns. Unprecedented in scope, the work of Andy Warhol ranged from the intimacy of the blotted line drawings in the 50s to the silkscreened paintings of the early 60s. His Screentests filmed at his Silver Factory studio captured time itself and expanded the role of filmed portraiture toward a democratic ideal in the burgeoning age of the small screen in America. Ultimately, Warhol employed strategies of blunt appropriation and significantly blurred the line of the Readymade art object with mass-produced material of his own making in Warhol TV and Interview magazine.
Exhibition organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Aspen Art Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Curated at Aspen Art Museum by Gregor Muir, Director of Collection, International Art, and Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.
Exhibition layout and design, with additional materials, reimagined and directed by Monica Majoli in collaboration with Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon Director; Simone Krug, Assistant Curator; and the Aspen Art Museum team.
Special Publication and Collateral Exhibition
To highlight Warhol’s close connection to the Aspen region and the Museum itself, AAM is pleased to present a supplement to Andy Warhol: Lifetimes through a custom magazine published in partnership with Frieze.
Additionally, the Museum will partner with The Powers Art Center in Carbondale, Colorado, a memorial to the life of influential collector John G. Powers, a former Aspen resident who became a longtime friend of Warhol in the early 1960s, as well as a patron and collector of Warhol’s work. This complementary presentation of Warhol’s work from the Powers Art Center’s collection highlights social connections between the two, including works and memorabilia from the Powers’ private collection.
ABOUT THE ASPEN ART MUSEUM
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum is a globally engaged non-collecting contemporary art museum. Following the 2014 opening of the museum’s facility designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, the AAM enjoys increased attendance, renewed civic interaction, and international media attention. In July 2017, the AAM was one of ten institutions to receive the United States’ National Medal for Museum and Library Services for its educational outreach to rural communities in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and its learning partnerships with civic and cultural partners within a 100-mile radius of the museum’s Aspen location.
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