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Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Mick Jagger, Mackenzie Phillips, and Nicky Lane Weymouth, circa 1970-1987, gelatin silver print on paper. Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. H2008.13.032. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Exhibition
Mar 20, 2009
throughMay 15, 2009

Warhol's Photographs and Pictures

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The University of Richmond Museums presents Warhol’s Photographs and Pictures: Selections from the Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, on view from March 20 to May 15, 2009, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. The exhibition includes more than fifty photographs taken by Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) from 1970 to 1987. With photographs ranging from Polaroid portrait sittings to black-and-white candid shots and landscapes, the exhibition offers insight into Warhol’s artistic process and creative milieu.
About the Exhibition

The exhibition is made up of selections from a gift of 102 Polaroid photographs in addition to 51 black-and-white silver gelatin prints as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy program. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the organization donated more than 28,500 original Warhol photographs valued in excess of $28 million and divided amongst 183 college and university art museums in the United States. This initiative sought to provide greater access to many of Warhol’s works that have remained unseen.

Polaroids often served as the basis for Warhol’s commissioned portraits, silkscreen paintings, drawings, and prints. Highlights of the exhibition include portraits of prominent American artist Roy Lichtenstein and Olympic ice skater Dorothy Hamill. Studies for some of his more famous works include a photograph of a pig for Fiesta Pig (screenprint, 1979) and an assortment of shoes for Diamond Dust Shoes (screenprint, 1980). Warhol’s Polaroid entitled Witch was used in his 1981 iconic Myths Suite featuring pop culture figures such as the “The Witch” based on the “Wicked Witch of the West” from The Wizard of Oz. The silver-gelatin print of Mick Jagger, Mackenzie Phillips, and Nicky Lane Weymouth exemplifies Warhol’s theory that, “a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.” These and other black-and-white candid shots provide a glimpse into Warhol’s social circle and personal life.

The exhibition focuses on intersections of beauty as determined by Warhol’s interest and philosophy, particularly considering the role that fame, sexuality, and form played in defining “beauty” for the artist. Preoccupied with fame, many of the artist’s subjects were known in the entertainment, fashion, sports, and art worlds in addition to people from his own inner circle who he declared celebrities. Celebrity portraits include model Evelyn Kuhn, fashion designers Carolina Herrera and Stephen Sprouse, tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis, and musicians such as Paul Anka. Themes of sexual identity and gender fluidity abounded not only in Warhol’s own life but in his art, as evidenced by images of the androgynous Tina Chow, a model and designer in the 1980s, as well as in other images that question stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. The exhibition also highlights Warhol’s focus on form in portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. In his portraits, he strived to obtain the perfect composition that matched the subject’s personality, often revealing the best features of the subject and preserving them at their finest.

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition is curated by Lucy Green, ’09, art history and studio art double major, University of Richmond, and is the subject of her senior art history thesis research paper. The project is guided by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University of Richmond Museums, and N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums.

Past Programming

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 7 to 9 p.m.
7 p.m., Lecture, Cousins Studio Theatre, Modlin Center for the Arts, Intersections of Beauty: Examining Andy Warhol’s Life, Art, and Philosophy Through His Photographs, Lucy Green, ’09, art history and studio art double major, University of Richmond, and curator of the exhibition
8 to 9 p.m., Reception and preview of Andy Warhol: Selected Photographs from the Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Art