Aspen Art Museum to be the sole venue for Warhol exhibition

Exhibition will run from December to March, featuring the underpinnings of the artist’s practice

The Aspen Art Museum will be the sole venue in the U.S. for a unique Andy Warhol exhibition this winter, which will focus on the biographical underpinnings of the artist’s practice and expanding on lesser-known aspects of his work and persona.

The announcement comes on the same day of the museum’s annual fundraiser ArtCrush and Warhol’s date of birth, Aug. 6.

Warhol, who died in 1987, has Aspen connections dating back to 1966 when he came to present his work at the Aspen Institute. That same year, he designed and edited the third issue of Aspen Magazine (1965-71), creating a deconstructed multimedia magazine-in-a-box.

He skied Buttermilk, partied at the old Andre’s nightclub and had his work featured the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, the precursor to the Aspen Art Museum, in an inaugural exhibition in 1979 and was the subject of a solo show in 1984, which was Colorado’s last museum exhibition of Warhol’s work.

Opening on Dec. 3, “Andy Warhol: Lifetimes” will run through March 27, and will break new ground by casting a queer eye on the artist as an outsider and disruptor, who remade America’s image to resonate with a queer sensibility, according to a press release announcing the exhibit.

Some of the works come from Warhol’s Ladies & Gentlemen series, his Sex Parts and Torsos series, and those that feature Warhol in drag, along with lesser known videos, and pieces that focus on his mother Julia Warhola, and his multimedia room, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

It’s a major international retrospective of Warhol’s work that will only be seen in Aspen.

Informed by the vernacular of celebrity, driven by consumerism, and bound together by new forms of media, Warhol’s four decades of work tapped into a culture fundamentally affixed to images and aspiration.

Organized thematically as an encounter with Warhol’s career over his lifetime, the exhibition includes more than 200 works, juxtaposing the eras to propose connections among divergent bodies of work and gain insight into Warhol’s concerns, according to the release.

“The Aspen Art Museum is delighted to present this intimate portrayal of Andy Warhol, which peers into the spectral persona that the artist created to transcend his personal limitations, generating a cultural myth, mirror, and decoder that has enchanted the modern world for decades,” said Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon Director of the Aspen Art Museum, in the release. “By presenting his canonical works alongside archival and direct source materials, the exhibition will give viewers an unprecedented opportunity to examine Warhol’s life as parallel to his work, ultimately establishing a new appreciation for this visionary artist of incomparable importance.”

The AAM invited artist Monica Majoli to re-conceptualize the staging of the exhibition, as envisioned by previous iterations.

“Everyone has their own vision of Andy Warhol, an elusive figure who is virtually synonymous with American popular culture of the late 20th century,” she said in a prepared statement. “Even after his untimely passing in 1987, Warhol continues to inform our contemporary moment through his prescient, uncanny grasp of the drama and consequences of capitalism in the American psyche.”

The exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Aspen Art Museum and the Art Gallery of Toronto, Ontario.

To highlight Warhol’s close connection to the Aspen region and the museum itself, the AAM will supplement the exhibit through a custom magazine published in partnership with Frieze.

The AAM also will partner with The Powers Art Center in Carbondale, which is a memorial to the life of influential collector John G. Powers, a former Aspen resident who became a longtime friend of Warhol in the early 1960s, as well as a patron and collector of Warhol’s work. The complementary presentation of Warhol’s work from the Powers Art Center’s collection will highlight social connections between the two, including works and memorabilia from the Powers’ private collection.



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