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Biggest Andy Warhol exhibition in Catalonia kicks off today

The collection has 352 famous works and commentaries, visible until December 31

13 September 2017 01:26 PM

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ACN | Rachel Bathgate

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If there’s any contemporary artist truly deserving of the word “iconic,” it’s Andy Warhol. Starting today, visitors will be able to see the most ambitious and “complete” collection of his works ever to have been brought to Spain.

Held in the CaixaForum space, the event is called 'Andy Warhol. The Mechanical Art,' and it's set to run from September 14 to December 31. It features 352 pieces by the American artist, including paintings, sculptures, screen printings, audiovisual installations, artist books and films.

Special to the history of audiovisual arts and culture

The exhibition kicked off today with a lecture by José Lebrero Stals, artistic director of the Picasso Museum in Málaga and curator of the exhibition. Lebrero, previously the curator of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), noted that his pieces have “the great capacity to reproduce themselves,” adding that “this gives them a very special place in the history of audiovisual arts and culture of the last 100 years.”

The exhibition will follow the creative development of the artist from his beginnings as a graphic designer in New York up until his death in 1987, focusing on inviting the visitor into the underground world that Warhol played an essential part in creating. 

  • "This gives the work a very special place in the history of audiovisual arts and culture of the last 100 years"

    José Lebrero Stals · Curator of the exhibition

From the most famous to the lesser known

The exhibition hopes to show the complexity of the artist’s work. With the option of a guided or family-oriented visit, museum-goers will be able to see works like the emblematic Campbell’s Soup Cans, Marylin Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Liz Taylor paintings, along with the artist’s famed experimental cinema.

For those who want to delve deeper, a selection of theoretical essays on his work will be on display. Additionally, attendees will be able to enjoy a photographic collection of portraits of Warhol, taken by iconic names such as Alberto Schommer, Richard Avedon or Robert Mapplethorpe.

The mechanics of art

This generation-definition pop artist reimagined the greatest icons of his time as replicable cultural commodities, including the Rolling Stones, Jean M. Basquiat, Marcel Duchamp, Elvis Presley and David Bowie. CaixaForum stated that the element of “nihilistic silence” in his works elevated it, giving it a “mechanical, seemingly impersonal” quality, while it “cynically refutes any deeper meaning.” This, alongside the artist’s command and understanding of new tendencies in technology and industry, leading to his wide use of mediums and assembly line-like qualities (as defined by Warhol himself) is what gives the exhibition its name. 

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  • The iconic Marylin Monroe Warhol portraits in the 'Andy Warhol. The Mechanical Art' exhibition on display at the CaixaForum space (by ACN)