“I had energy and wanted to rush home and paint and stop doing society portraits.” – Andy Warhol.
Skarstedt Gallery will present an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Late Paintings at its uptown gallery this fall. These works, made during one of the artist’s most prolific periods, signify a culmination of the themes and processes explored throughout Warhol’s career. The exhibition will feature ten large-scale paintings from the Skulls, Hammer and Sickle, Rorschach, Knives, Dollar Signs and Reversals Series, amongst others, and date from 1974 through 1987, the year of Warhol’s death. Andy Warhol: Late Paintings will be on view at Skarstedt Upper East Side (20 E. 79th Street, New York City) from September 19th through October 31st, 2015.
In the late 1970s Warhol was turning fifty. Consumed with reexamining himself and his accomplishments, he was looking for stimulation and change—something to inspire him. Warhol often traveled to Europe, discovering new imagery to explore in his work. And it was on a trip to Paris in 1977, while visiting the art museums with Pontus Hultén, the founding director of the Pompidou, that he discovered this newfound motivation, and the stimulation to experiment with untried ideas in painting.
Warhol reengaged with the act of painting and developed new techniques, combining the tools in his repertoire, including the mechanical production of his early Pop paintings, and more recent innovations in process and abstraction. These experimentations led Warhol to the abstractions of the Shadow and Oxidation paintings and renewed his interest in the process of painting itself—going so far as to highlight his own hand with his brushstrokes and finger made swirls in his Ladies and Gentlemen paintings.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1949. Early in his career he worked as a commercial artist and illustrator, and towards the 1960s he began consolidating his well-known style of large-scale, colorful prints of popular consumer goods and other advertising related images that were prevalent in mass media. Warhol eventually became the main exponent of Pop Art, which introduced images of consumer culture into works of art that were manufactured with mass production techniques and blurred the boundaries between high and commercial art. His diverse oeuvre includes paintings, prints, sculptures and films that are often grouped in series that focus on different issues such as consumerism, violence, celebrity culture and even include socio-political commentary. At the same time, Warhol’s works commented on the fundamentals of the medium by highlighting the conflict between medium and subject matter. He frequently transformed banal objects into items meant for adoration; and in other occasions his endless repetition of dramatic images stripped them of all meaning. Warhol’s intriguing works are imbued with a poignant, powerful commentary and challenge to the status quo. Andy Warhol became one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture at large.
The late works of Andy Warhol, as featured in this exhibition, represent a critical transition for the artist, embracing his past while simultaneously looking towards the future and establishing his lasting legacy.
Warhol’s works have been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent important solo exhibitions were held at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 2001, the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany in 1996, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989. His works have also been exhibited in major institutions such as the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May of 1994. His work has been featured in multiple publications. Andy Warhol died in 1987 in New York.