'Andy Warhol and Photography' exhibition launches in South Australia
The first exhibition in Australia to explore Andy Warhol’s career-long obsession with photography has opened at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Exclusive to Adelaide, Andy Warhol and Photography: A Social Media promises to reveal an unseen side of the celebrated Pop artist through more than 250 works, spanning photographs, experimental films, screenprints and paintings, with many on display in Australia for the first time.
Decades before social media, Warhol’s photography was candid, collaborative and social, attuned to the power of the image to shape his public persona and self-identity.
Andy Warhol and Photography offers a fresh perspective on the influential artist, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses into his own life and the lives of friends and celebrities, including Muhammad Ali, Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Liza Minnelli, Lou Reed and Elizabeth Taylor.
Headlining the 2023 Adelaide Festival’s visual arts program, Andy Warhol and Photography: A Social Media is curated by AGSA’s Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, bringing together works from national and international collections, as well as AGSA’s own extensive collection of 45 Warhol photographs which will be shown together for the first time.
AGSA Director, Rhana Devenport ONZM says that even 35 years after his death, Warhol remains enduringly relevant.
"This is an exhibition of our times which begs the question, was Warhol the original influencer?’" she says.
Revealing Warhol from both in front of and behind the camera, the exhibition also features works by his photographic collaborators and creative contemporaries such as Brigid Berlin, Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos, Gerard Malanga, Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals and Billy Name.
Andy Warhol and Photography also includes iconic Warhol paintings, including his famed Pop Art portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley from the 1960s, demonstrating how Warhol translated many of his photographs into paintings and screenprints.
Exhibition curator Julie Robinson says photography underpinned Warhol’s whole artistic practice – both as an essential part of his working method and as an end in its own right.
"He took some 60,000 photographs in his lifetime. His candid images, which capture his own life as well as the lives of his celebrity friends, offer audiences a revealing insight into Warhol the person, taking viewers beneath the veneer of his Pop paintings and persona."
The exhibition opens at AGSA as part of the 2023 Adelaide Festival and runs until 14 May 2023. Tickets are on sale at agsa.sa.gov.au.