James Gormley explains more about a new exhibition, starting today, which brings together 20 important works including some of Warhol’s 1960’s Icons series and Haring’s famed 1986-89 Pop Shop works, at Gormley’s Fine Art, Dublin …
Firstly, congratulations on such a unique exhibition. What is the background to this exhibition?
With galleries being closed for so long, we wanted to reopen with a significant exhibition and give people something to look forward to. Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and coupled with Keith Haring, it doesn’t get much bigger. Normally you would have to travel to MOMA in New York or the TATE Modern in London to see works by Warhol and Haring so we are delighted to bring it to Dublin. The exhibition includes 20 important works spanning both artists careers from Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger and Chairman Mao to Haring’s famed 1980’s Pop-Shop works.
Remind us of Andy Warhol’s significance in art history …
Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the 1960’s Pop Art movement and is arguably one of the best-known artists of the 20th century. His silkscreen-printed images of cultural and consumer icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor or Campbell’s soup cans, made him one of the most famous artists of his generation.
Warhol controversially blurred the lines between fine art and mainstream aesthetics and by combining high art with consumerism, he brought art to the masses. Warhol also combined the worlds of art, fashion and celebrity culture for the first time. However, the biggest impact that Warhol has had is the generations of artists that he has influenced including Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Banksy.
I believe Andy Warhol had a special friendship with Keith Haring …
Yes, Warhol and Haring formed a unique friendship and bond during the 1980’s New York art scene. Both were introverts, craved acceptance and were openly gay/ bisexual at a time when most of the LGBT community kept their sexuality behind closed doors. Warhol first acted as a mentor to Haring and later they collaborated closely together. They shared the same philosophy on art: to break down the barriers between high and low art and make art that is accessible to everyone. Warhol introduced Haring to his now famous silkscreen printing method which allowed his graffiti art to become a more recognised artform, while also reaching a wider audience. Haring stated in his official biography, “You see, whatever I’ve done would not have been possible without Andy. Had Andy not broken the concept of what art is supposed to be, I just wouldn’t have been able to exist.”
What are some of the many highlights of this exhibition?
Key Warhol works in the exhibition include his stunning monochrome “Mickey Mouse” (FS II.265) from his 1981 “Myths” portfolio and his 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger, which are signed by both Warhol and Jagger. Also featured are a number of his iconic portraits including Marilyn Monroe, Chairman Mao and Ingrid Bergman.
Key Haring works include his spectacular “Medusa Head” which measures a huge 250 cm x 140 cm; making it one of the largest screen-prints that Haring ever completed. Also featured are a series of his most iconic and sought after “Pop Shop” works completed between 1987-1989 and just before his premature death in 1990.
Need To Know: The first joint exhibition of works by Andy Warhol and Keith Harding is at Gormleys Fine Art, 27 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2. The exhibition opens on May 22 until June 12; www.gormleys.ie.
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