2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death.
Catching the last day of the Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal retrospective at the ArtScience Museum was an early highlight (and a jet-lag kicker) upon arriving in Singapore last month.
A commercial illustrator by training, Warhol was fascinated by the relationships between fame, celebrity, art, fashion, advertising and our consumer society which he explored repeatedly in his work. Often controversial, Warhol remains a complex and often misunderstood character whose art depicting objects such as Campbell’s soup cans and celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Mao Tse-Tung, has been imprinted into the public’s collective consciousness for decades.
Image: © Andy Warhol Estate
Andy Warhol, 15 Minutes Eternal
The show title is drawn from the expression coined by Warhol: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” This is one of many retrospectives around the world which delve into who the man Warhol was, giving us a picture of how the artwork, creativity, processes and character of this leading figure of the Pop Art movement developed over time.
The exhibition is also the beginning of a two year voyage for this, the largest ever collection of Warhol works in Asia, which will tour from Singapore to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing Tokyo.
On view are around 300 paintings, photographs, screen prints, drawings, 3-D installations and sculptures including iconic works such as Jackie, Marilyn Monroe, Mao,Campbell’s Soup, Silver Liz, The Last Supper, and Self-Portrait.
One of the highlights was the Silver Clouds. A space surrounded by a thin net, that the viewer can enter to be amongst a gaggle of helium-filled, silver pillow-shaped balloons caught in the directing stream of air from several fans.
Simple, but beautiful. The ‘clouds’ played around on the ceiling, rolling over one another, moving sometimes gracefully and at other times erratically, like floating sky creatures, with the occasional deflated balloon hovering lower than the rest.
Next week the Andy Warhol Foundation will begin to auction off the entire Warhol estate, in an epic auction house sale which aims to raise money for grant-giving initiatives.
Nicola Anthony is an artist and art writer living & working in Singapore. She seeks to discover things which make her mind crackle with creative thought. Catch @Nicola_Anthony on twitter, or her artist’s website