Andy Warhol, whose works helped define the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, is getting a retrospective that covers his entire career, now at SFMOMA. Called Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again, it spans three floors and four decades. Donna De Salvo, chief curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art (where the show began) says it’s as comprehensive an exhibition as possible, with so prolific and varied an artist.
There’s more information about the show at the SFMOMA website.
In the work that he did in the 1950s, De Salvo says, you get to see an artist who hadn’t yet built up the persona of who he would become. “You see a Warhol that you never see again. The work is very beautiful, lines that you see, he’s an incredible draftsman, you know, there’s his sexuality, is much more apparent in the ‘50s work… The capacity to create a sense of self, through image, is something now we take for granted in what we can do in Instagram and so many different social media platforms… That’s why the camouflage self-portrait is so great, because you know, there you see it. You get to see him, but you don’t get to see him, and I think there was a private Warhol that none of us have ever seen, probably, except for those people very very close to him.” Also included are works from the 1970s and 80s, which at the time were discounted as no longer being avant-garde. But he was reinventing himself as a portraitist and social observer, which now seems logical to us in the world of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Warhol once said ‘I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be a portraitist one day, and make abstract paintings the next day,’ which was not the idea in the fifties, where you had to choose sides. I think how contemporary his work is. I’ve really come to believe that we’re just catching up where Warhol was going.”