Arts

By Alyssa Morgan

Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fall exhibit, “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” juxtaposes the works of enigmatic Andy Warhol alongside his contemporaries and other later post-modern artists who have either reconstructed or reacted to the pop-art style synonymous with Warhol.

Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The show, which started in mid-September and ends December 31st, highlights about 50 works by Warhol, and almost 100 other pieces by 59 artists expanding five decades, including works by Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Richard Avedon, Ai Wei Wei, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakam. These pieces are presented in a sprawling five galleries each with their own unique theme: “Daily News: From Banality to Disaster,” “Portraiture: Celebrity and Power,” “Queer Studies: Shifting Identities,” “Consuming Images: Appropriation, Abstraction, and Seriality,” and “No Boundaries: Business, Collaboration, and Spectacle.”

As the viewer moves from each themed section, they are provided with a visual exploration into the varying post-modern Warholian concepts. While from an aesthetic point of view the exhibit’s works are uniform, in actuality, the display falls short in accurately expressing the intricacies of Warhol’s influence as the social and historical complexities of each unique artist is neglected in exchange for aesthetic value. Roberta Smith of The New York Times elucidates, “…this show…may be a hit with the public, but it should have been much more challenging and original. That it can seem that just about any artist from the last three decades could have been included testifies either to Warhol’s influence or the show’s shapelessness.”

This is not to say the exhibit is not in part pleasing—it is an impressive array of pieces by many acclaimed and lesser-known artists. While Warhol undeniably steals the show as the main attraction, there are plenty of notable thought-provoking works in sub-sections. On the other hand, the exhibit can seem convoluted with an overwhelming amount of works.

Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Notwithstanding the thematic shortcomings of the exhibit, I encourage everyone to see and interpret the exhibit for himself or herself. After all, perspective matters, as Warhol asserted, “Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?”

Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photographs courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/regarding-warhol/about-the-exhibition

Originally published December 2012
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