A pivotal figure in postwar contemporary American art and one of the most prolific and publicly recognized artists of his time, Warhol shattered previously held ideas regarding the relationships between art and commerce, authorship, celebrity, and gender.
Born in Pittsburgh, he moved to New York in 1949 and became successful as a commercial artist. By the early 1960s, Warhol began painting what would become some of the iconic images of our age; his work was characterized by the repetition of banal subjects such as Campbell’s soup cans, appropriated from newspapers and advertisements. At this time he started using a silkscreen process that he substituted for painting by hand. Warhol had a lifelong fascination with Hollywood, and in 1962 he began a large series of celebrity portraits, including Marilyn, Elvis, and Liz. He also created a Death and Disaster series of paintings: —images of electric chairs, suicides, and car crashes. Photography—his own, as well as images appropriated from the mass media—played an essential role in the creation of these works.
Starting in the early 1960s, Warhol also broadened his activities to include filmmaking, with films such as Sleep (1963), Kiss (1963–64), Empire (1964), and The Chelsea Girls (1966) that were marked by an emphasis on repetition and the passage of time. In the early 1970s, he produced monumental portraits such as Mao, a number of commissioned portraits, and the Hammer and Sickle series. From the late 1970s until his death in 1987, Warhol created multiple series of challenging abstract works, including the Shadow, Rorschach, and Camouflage paintings, which were produced concurrently with large-scale collaborative efforts and religious works such as the Last Supper series. Since his death, there have been numerous retrospective exhibitions of Warhol’s work at distinguished institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2001–2; Tate Modern, London, 2002; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2012; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2011–12.
ArtlystArt Basel’s fifth edition in Hong Kong has closed with encouraging sales recorded across all levels of the market. This demonstrates a continued demand for high-quality works by the world’s leading international collectors and institutions. Attendance at this year’s show, whose Lead Partner is UBS, rose to nearly 80,000 – due to the introduction of evening ticket sales and improved crowd control measures – and attracted leading members of the international art world. Many observers felt that this edition had built on the show’s strong history to attain new levels – Art Basel in Hong Kong now not only stands as the premier fair in Asia but also as one of the leading fairs worldwide. Read More
ARTSY EDITORIAL by Alexxa GotthardtFergus McCaffrey’s elegant booth mingles the practices of two American artists who came of age in the 1960s and happen to be great friends. The works of Marcia Hafif and Richard Nonas, however, differ greatly—and that’s precisely what makes this presentation so compelling. Hafif’s hyper-saturated canvases featuring curvaceous forms that resemble bodily contours (she calls these her “Pop-Minimal” paintings) draw you in. Nonas’s more subtle patinaed steel sculptures cover the floor. They resemble architectural forms or ritualized objects; given Nonas’s early years as an anthropologist, they just might be inspired by them, too. Read More