Andy Warhol and Pop Society at Palazzo Ducale in Genoa

Pop Society, a retrospective of some of Andy Warhol’s instantly recognizable as well as not-as-well-known work opened at Genova’s Palazzo Ducale in late October and runs through February 2017.

The painter, printmaker, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, film maker, writer, and collector has his work examined in segments of advertising, commissioned works, posters, celebrities, and, befitting the location, “Warhol and Italy,” exploring  the artist’s visits to the country, as well as his works riffing on Leonardo’s Last Supper.

Warhol jump-started Pop Art by making a series of pictures based on crude advertisements and on images from comic strips, loosely painted in a mock-expressive style that parodied the gestural brushwork of Abstract Expressionism.

Warhol was equally as detached from, and fascinated by, degraded images from consumer society, and celebrities. Many of these screen-printed ‘multiples’ (actually carefully monitored limited editions) are heavily featured in the exhibition.

The 1970s, when Warhol began accepting corporate commissions and patronage from wealthy but little-known portrait-seekers, were seen by many as the mark of his artistic decline, although the income this work generated enabled Warhol to celebrate his final self-declared transformation from commercial artist to business artist.

Warhol’s work regained public and critical traction in the 1980s, thanks in part to the support of  artists indebted to his example after producing a group of collaborative paintings with Francesco Clemente and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Reference: Marco Livingstone. “Warhol, Andy.” Grove art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

‘Rose Red’ variation of The Last Supper, 1986. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

Brillo Box (Soap Pads), 1964. The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Doris and Donald Fisher. accession Nr. 358.1997.

Mao, 1973. The Art Institute of Chicago Collection. Formerly in The AMICO Library. Accession Nr. aIC_.1974.230.

 Marilyn, 1967. One of a portfolio of ten screenprints; published by Leo Castelli Gallery. Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

Self-Portrait, 1967. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Accession Nr. P.70.64.

Crabs, 1982. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Accession Nr. 2008.012.023.

The Palazzo Ducale is illuminated during the coinciding Festività Natalizie and exhibition Dagli Impressionisti a Picasso. Photo: Palazzo Ducale Genova.

Further Reading: Stephen Shore. Factory: Andy Warhol. Phaidon Press: London, 2016..

Paul Marechal. Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Posters, 1964-1987. Prestel: New York City, 2014.

Posted by Jean Marie Carey

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