Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol exhibition was set to run from 12 March to 6 September 2020. While Tate Modern is temporarily closed until further notice, they did film some of their favourite parts of the exhibition for you to enjoy at home. Get ready to escape to another decade and step into the world of this pop art superstar.
You’ll also hear fresh takes on Warhol’s life and work from two Tate Modern curators, as they explore themes of queerness, religion and death. Watch it here:
Andy Warhol (1928–87) was one of the most recognisable artists of the late 20th century, yet his life and work continue to fascinate and be interpreted anew. A shy, gay man from a religious, migrant, low-income household, he forged his own distinct path to emerge as the epitome of the pop art movement.
This major new exhibition at Tate Modern – the first at the gallery for almost 20 years – offers visitors a rare personal insight into how Warhol and his work marked a period of cultural transformation. Drawing upon recent scholarship, it will provide a new lens through which to view this American icon.
Featuring over 100 works from across his remarkable career, the show will shed light on how Warhol’s experiences shaped his unique take on 20th-century culture, positioning him within the shifting creative and political landscape in which he worked. While he is best known for his iconic paintings of Coca-Cola bottles and Marilyn Monroe that held up a mirror to American culture, this exhibition emphasises recurring themes around desire, identity and belief that emerge from his biography. It shows how this innovative artist reimagined what art could be in an age of immense social, political and technological change.
Born Andrew Warhola, he grew up in Pittsburgh to Carpatho-Rusyn parents who emigrated from a small village in the former Czechoslovak Republic. The Warhola family were devout followers of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church, and the impact of the strong religious conviction of Julia Warhola, Andy’s mother with whom he lived for most of his life, will be considered as a significant context to his work. Warhol’s sexuality is an important theme in the exhibition, beginning with a selection of his evocative early line drawings of male portraits and nudes from the 1950s. These works will form an intimate pairing with the film Sleep (1963) – which documents Warhol’s lover, the poet John Giorno – to highlight the collaborative way Warhol worked with figures from outside the art world to create a broader understanding of what art could be.