Andy Warhol 2020 Exhibition Press Preview at the Tate Modern

Pop art, politics, paradox, polygender and perfection…

Andy Warhol is coming to London in 2020, an appropriate date, two decades after the last exhibition in the capital.

Enjoy-It was invited to the preview on the 6th floor of the Tate Modern in October, quite an experience in itself, as the gladiatorial entrance is somewhat surreal whilst empty…

The exhibition is also landmarking the launch of a new menu and style from Tate Eats, taking over all of the restaurants and cafés across the building, with a sweetened, Americanised, snacking style of dining including Southern fried chicken with waffles, maple syrup and ketchup along with Key Lime pies, chocolate and Coco-Cola jelly…

Tate Modern Director Frances Morris introduces the globally anticipated 12-room 2020 exhibition, that will show off over 200 works of Warhol’s, some of which have not been publically displayed for over 30 years and some that have not been displayed together ever before including the ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ series, where 12 of the paintings depicting African American and Latinx drag queens will be adored.

His key pop works will be on show in abundance, says Gregor Muir, director of collection, with double Debbie, double Dolly (Harry and Parton…), Marilyn Diptych of course, Campbell’s Soup Cans and the show, says Fiontan Moran, assistant curator: “Whilst set in 12 rooms, (and what really is a room), they are displayed in space, show the themes of death, queerness and family in terms of his immigration status.”

The morph from painting starts another phase in ‘Silver Clouds’ and the show climaxes with the 1986 ‘Sixty Last Suppers’ after rooms and ‘spaces’ of some of the most influential works produced by the icon, punctuated by a selection of self portraiture including Photo Booth (1964) and a glimpse into his family provenance including that of his Catholic mother, seen in bed and also clutching an edition of 4 June 1968 New York Daily News with the defining headline ‘Actress Shoots Andy Warhol.’

The Tate preview is full of underground anticipation, academic planning, exciting teasers and a reminder of the diversity of Warhol’s works (including film), his pendulous relationships with politics, gender fluidity, commercialism and his life, family, health and ultimately his death.

During questions there was an outburst from a lady professing to have known/observed Warhol during his career, she expressed her opinions on his politics and art in less than favourable terms – it was bitter theatre, making one wonder if she was part of the exhibition… contentious to say the least! She was jettisoned quietly from the event, before her 15-minutes of…

In line with this there are still questions being asked about Warhol’s motives, inspirations and position in the American, nay global, cultural hall of fame, and the answer is simple – view the works next year, take time and consideration and decide for yourself if this was a self-made celebrity thanks to his flirtations with Hollywood, the Whitehouse and international glitterati or a shy Slovakian immigrant with a creative genius and protégé ability to observe and capture the unusual, the underdog, the bent and the brave… perhaps two and the same…

I greet this exhibition with a sense of excitement and relief, I played with some of Warhol’s imagery at art college in the 1980s and have been captivated by his work and existence ever since, and it is now accessible in London…

It amuses me to think of the new Warhol-influenced menu throughout the Tate – a move that would no doubt impress the cultural icon in its clearly radical style – a sweetened pole apart from the PC-ness of all dietary advice prevailing throughout the establishment today – eat it up!

Roll on the press launch, Tate Eats’ new menu and the 2020 exhibition for your consumption.

And Tate Modern, Bank of America (official sponsors of the exhibition and its two-year worldwide tour) thank you for making this happen.

Visit, enjoy, repeat to fade…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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