Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti, PISA – Italy
12 October 2013 – 2 February 2014 Extended through February 9!
Two hundred and thirty works from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many American and European collections, reconstruct the creative artist who revolutionized the art of the twentieth century. Contrary to many similar initiatives dedicated to Warhol, related to the taste of a single collector, the exhibition in Pisa, titled ANDY WARHOL: An American Story, reads through a highly themed adventure artist who has managed to shake the foundations of the academic world of painting and criticism of the late twentieth century, but also to forever alter the image of America and Contemporary Society.
The exhibition, curated by Walter Guadagnini and Claudia Zevi, offers 230 works from the creative journey of the author who revolutionized the art of the twentieth century, thanks to the research conducted in the archives at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh – which holds a large part of his legacy, and that have granted the loan of some important works practically unknown in Italy – and the support of some historic international museum and private collections.
The exhibition opens with the self-portraits in which the artist ‘iconize’ his own face; from those of the sixties, in which he portrays himself as a thoughtful intellectual, to those famous last period with the silver wig, a permanent mark his public image.
After this introduction, the exhibition continues with a total immersion in the season of Pop, 1962-1968, represented here by some thirty works from the small painting Avanticar, to the great framework of the dollar from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Nice, the Brillo boxes of detergent in the Berardo collection in Lisbon, and many variations on the theme of flowers and cans of Campbell’s Soup.
Warhol’s genius lies in being able to tell even the dark side of American society: exemplary in this regard is the diptych of 13 Most Wanted Men and the series dedicated to the Electric Chair at the Albertina in Vienna, as well as the paintings that have to theme Guns and Knives, the latter became even better known in recent years as the cover image of Gomorrah, the book by Roberto Saviano, having sold millions of copies.
Warhol himself, on the other hand, was the victim of this violence underlying the American society when, in 1968, was severely injured and nearly given up for dead following the attack of a deranged woman who had been part of the curious personalities that populated the Factory, the place where he invented and realized all his masterpieces. This experience is evidenced in the torn photographs taken by the artist and rebuilt by Richard Avedon and published by the newspapers of the time, as well as a large painting titled Skull of Mumok of Vienna.
Life, Death, Society is the title of the section in which you will see the most famous icons of Andy Warhol. First, Marilyn in the historical sequence of ten, but also in two later versions black and white, and then the great paintings of Liz Taylor, Mick Jagger, Joseph Beuys, Troy Donahue, and the photographs of Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Keith Haring, the 16mm film with Marcel Duchamp, Dali, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper and others. In these works, created in the sixties until his death, through unmistakable images that mixed public life and private life, almost without distinction, Warhol succeeded in bringing the history of art, the star system and customs of the twentieth century.
Even the politics remained immune to his spectacular icons. The political assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy ends up identifying with the tragic mask of Jacqueline Kennedy, while the man who lead the largest communist empire in the world, Mao Zedong, became the subject of one of the most popular works by Warhol in the West capitalist.
A Palazzo Blu then analyzes the creative period of Warhol’s later, in which the artist still manages to surprise, on the one hand, his Eggs and Yarns assume the forms of giant abstract paintings, on the other he reinvents the mythology of America at the dawn of the eighties. In the canvas Myths (almost 3x3m in size) he joins on a single surface Superman and Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus and Dracula, the Mami of Gone with the Wind and the wicked witch of the Wizard of Oz, all icons of an imaginary collective among which the artist inserts himself as well in the role of the Shadow.
Warhol however, is still able to tell the great events of his time, as the tragedy that swept Naples with the earthquake of 1981, which depicted through the pages of newspapers, or using a simple black line that turns out to be the trace of a seismograph, and paying homage to the city, its history and its culture with the series of Vesuvius, represented here by two huge canvases, coming respectively from the Museum of Capodimonte and from a private collection, as well as other color images and drawings.
The exhibition ends with another ingenious invention of the artist born in Pittsburgh, or a wallpaper decorated with cow heads.
ANDY WARHOL . An American story
Pisa, Palazzo Blu (Lungarno Gambacorti 9)
12 Oct 2013 – 9 February 2014
Hours (the ticket office closes an hour earlier):
Monday – Friday 10am to 7pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am to 8pm
Full ticket including audio guide € 10
Reduced ticket includes audio guide € 8.50 (over 65, college students up to age 25, disabled)
Discounted ticket includes audio guide € 8 (Blue Card, Friends of Palazzo Blu, Giunti Card)
Free admission to children up to 10 years accompanied by family, a group leader for every group and two for each school group, people with disabilities, registered journalists, ICOM members
For information and pre-sales : http://www.midaticket.it or Tel 050-3198830
Booking fee € 1.50
And if you are in Umbria before October 27, the small town of Città di Castello is hosting another Warhol exhibition, this time from the Rosini Gutman Collection. Over 70 pieces from 1957-1987 are being exhibited in the Pinacoteca Comunale of the Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera, Via della Cannoniera 22A, Città di Castello (PG).
Hours: 10am-1pm, 2:30pm-6:30pm daily, closed on Mondays
Tickets: € 8
For more information, see www.editebro.it/mostra-andy-warhol/