Andy Warhol ‘s Self-Portrait, 1967. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund © 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
NEW YORK - This weekend sees the first of the big New York museum exhibitions for the fall – Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until the last day of the year.
I’ll admit that I was wondering how deep this show could go, since Andy Warhol’s influence is already so firmly acknowledged and accepted. But I found myself delighted by some of the expected things – classic Jeff Koons pieces, for instance – but also some oddball things I didn’t see coming, like Alex Katz’s great 1967 portrait of the poet Ted Berrigan.
Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Purchase through the Marian and Bernard Messenger Fund and restricted funds. ©Jeff Koons.
“We wanted to make important, but not always obvious comparisons,” the co-curator Marla Prather told me over the summer. Evidently this show was really tough to put together, because once you start looking for it, Andy’s spirit is everywhere. “The show just kept growing – the influence is so pervasive,” she added. “Where do you draw the line?” Indeed, the original title touted fifty artists; they were able to add ten more and change the name in time to make the catalog deadline.
I recommend getting a copy of the catalog even if you can’t make it to New York for the show. It’s full of lively Q+As and interesting essays; it’s not just a rehash of plates from the show. Given the continuing freshness of his appeal – Exhibit A is Rob Pruitt’s shiny Andy Monument, which until recently stood in Union Square – Andy deserves nothing less.