Transmitting Andy Warhol brings together more than 100 artworks and is the first solo exhibition of Andy Warhol’s (1928–1987) work in the north of England. The exhibition rethinks the artist’s pivotal role in re-defining access to culture and art as we know it today.
One of the most important and influential artists of the post-war period and the central figure associated with Pop Art, Transmitting Andy Warhol is the first exhibition to explore Warhol’s role in establishing new processes for the dissemination of art, and his experimentation with new approaches to art reception that redefined artistic practice and distribution.
A major exhibition highlight will be a selection of Warhol’s iconic works including the Marilyn series, which will be shown alongside paintings loaned from international collections, films, drawings, prints and photographs. The exhibition will also include a rich display of documentation which will shed further light on Warhol’s art practice and his philosophies.
It was during the 1960s, when Warhol’s career was in the ascendency, that he recognised mass culture’s encroachment into the areas of visual representation and public experience, with a shift in the role of the artist as well as expectations of the audience. It was at this time that Warhol claimed he was ‘abandoning’ painting, shifting his practice towards a commitment to the theoretically limitless channels of publishing, film, fashion, music, and broadcasting. Warhol began to combine the conceptual processes of making, marketing, publicity and distribution within a single artwork.
This change in Warhol’s practice saw him occupy a singular position through his use of readymade and mass media produced imagery, which he manipulated and ‘transmitted’ back into the public realm through mechanical means of reproduction and mass distribution. It was this ‘transmission’ of art and radical ideas that implemented his ethical conviction that ‘art should be for everyone’.
Transmitting Andy Warhol provides new insights into the range of the artist’s body of work, as well as the social, political and aesthetic implications of his practice. Warhol’s expanding of the channels of communication is especially relevant today in an era when digital media offers artists, as well as any member of the public, boundless possibilities of distributing information, images and ideas.
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