Exhibitions: Andy Warhol: The Last Decade

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Relief of Mourning Men, Roughly Rectangular Slab

This relief fragment shows two men, on the right, who make the gestures of mourners. The small cuts in the stone surface above and in front ...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Figure of a Girl Holding a Drum

    The barrel-shaped drum may have been introduced to Egypt from the south. Egyptian images often show such drums being played by Nubian or Sud...

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    DIG_E2010_Warhol_01_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_26_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_27_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_25_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_24_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_23_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_22_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_21_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_19_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_20_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_18_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_17_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_16_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_15_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_14_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_12_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_13_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_11_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_10_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_09_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_08_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_07_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_05_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_06_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_04_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_03_PS2.jpg DIG_E2010_Warhol_02_PS2.jpg

    Andy Warhol: The Last Decade

    Exhibition Didactics ?
    • Andy Warhol: The Last Decade
      In the vanguard of the Pop art revolution in the early 1960s, Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) created images of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup cans that became icons of celebrity and American consumer culture. Using the visual style and production process he learned while working as a commercial illustrator in New York in the 1950s, Warhol began mechanically transferring images borrowed from popular culture to create vibrant new works that altered the course of American art. Virtually his entire reputation is based on the Pop art he produced from 1962 to 1968, but that work represents only seven of nearly forty years of artistic production.

      After an attempt on his life in 1968, Warhol transitioned his studio practice into a portrait and film business. A decade later, he turned fifty and began a critical assessment of his life and career that brought about a radical metamorphosis in his art. Warhol’s last decade is, arguably, when the artist was at his most productive. He expanded both his business and his artistic ventures, experiencing an extraordinary period of creativity in television, fashion, and printmaking, and creating a little known body of personal paintings that were rarely exhibited in his lifetime.

      Weary of the business of producing portraits on commission, Warhol began to experiment with “newer ideas” about 1978. He introduced abstraction, returned to painting by hand, and engaged in a dialogue between abstract and figurative painting. Over his last decade Warhol explored a dizzying range of new imagery and processes in numerous series such as the Oxidations, Shadows, Rorschachs, Collaborations, Black & White Ads, and finally The Last Supper. This exhibition focuses on the late paintings, which show the complex relationship between the two poles of Warhol’s work: his mechanically produced icons of popular culture, and his extraordinary technical facility as a painter and draftsman.

    • Abstraction
      In 1965, at the height of his fame as a Pop artist, Warhol announced that he was retiring from painting to concentrate on making films. Indeed, he began to focus on his filmmaking, but he continued to paint portraits and other series throughout the 1970s. In the summer of 1977, while touring art museums in Paris, he had a revelation and wrote in his diary, “I had energy and wanted to rush home and paint and stop doing society portraits.” He began painting abstractions for the first time, in a complete reversal of his Pop art. For Warhol, serious painting now meant abstraction.

      Radically departing from his screened popular images and society portraits, he created two series—the Oxidations and the Shadows—in which he developed two novel approaches to abstraction. In these series Warhol aspired to achieve the sheer “physical presence” of color, line, and form that he had noted in 1963: “All painting is fact, and that is enough; the paintings are charged with their very presence. . . . Physical presence.”

    • Collaborations
      As Warhol was developing his abstract paintings, a group called the Neo-Expressionists burst onto the New York art scene, emphasizing a return to painting recognizable objects using loose brushwork and bright colors, in reaction to the minimal, conceptual art of the 1970s. In October 1982, the Swiss art dealer Bruno Bischofberger introduced Warhol to one of these young painters, Jean-Michel Basquiat. The two developed a close relationship that lasted nearly three years. They collaborated on paintings in the studio in the afternoon and went clubbing at night.

      Recognizing the extraordinary potential of this partnership, Bischofberger commissioned a series of collaborations between Warhol, Basquiat, and the Italian painter Francesco Clemente. When the series was complete, Warhol continued to work with Basquiat. Warhol confessed, “Jean-Michel got me into painting different, so that’s a good thing.” That “good thing” was to paint by hand with a brush. The Collaborations mark not only Warhol’s return to hand-painting but also his renewed interest in figure painting.

    • Black & White Ads
      In this series, Warhol reproduced advertisements that he appropriated from popular and pulp magazines for products such as Campbell’s Soup and current fitness fads, as well as those expressing his own political and religious beliefs.

      To produce most of these paintings, Warhol returned to one of his Pop art processes: clipping ads from magazines and tabloids, projecting and tracing them onto paper, and then screenprinting the images. In some, such as Campbell’s Soup (Tomato), Warhol—spurred by the Collaborations with Basquiat—hand-painted the ads onto paper and then had silkscreens made of the paintings, leaving bristles, brushwork, and paint drips visible in the finished print. Warhol’s freehand draftsmanship and fluid brushwork enliven the surface of these works, which are essentially silkscreened reproductions of his original brush drawings. In others, the artist painted directly on the canvas, using a projected image as a guide. Throughout the Black & White Ads, Warhol toys mischievously with the confusion between manual and mechanical processes.

    • Warhol's Last Paintings
      The most prolific period of Warhol’s life was from late 1985 until his death in February 1987. The demands of his multitude of painting projects, print series, television productions, and fashion engagements, as well as his active social life, made this period the busiest of his career. The artist’s compulsive production culminated in three remarkable series: the so-called fright-wig Self-Portraits, the Camouflage paintings, and The Last Supper. In each, Warhol utilized a different subject and technique, and experimented with the dualities of abstraction and representation, painting and printing, and surface and meaning.

    • The Last Supper
      The Last Supper series was commissioned to inaugurate a new gallery in Milan, Italy, located across the street from the site of the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic fresco (circa 1495–98) depicting Jesus’s last meal with his followers. Warhol worked obsessively for more than a year on this series, producing more than a hundred Last Supper paintings, both silkscreened and hand-painted, that were some of the largest paintings of his career.

      Despite his public proclamations to the contrary, Warhol was profoundly moved by the series. Of these works, he remarked, “I painted them all by hand—I myself; so now I’ve become a Sunday painter. . . . That’s why the project took so long. But I worked with a passion.” These paintings manifest both his religious beliefs—his practice of Catholicism remained private until it was revealed at his funeral—and an irreverence toward the subject, expressed through ironic commercial logos and transgressive repetitions of Christ’s image.

      Less than a month following his exhibition of The Last Supper in Milan, Warhol had emergency gallbladder surgery. Several days later, on February 22, 1987, he died.

    advanced 110,591 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Recently Tagged Exhibitions

    Recent Comments

    "Hi Aimee, I think you mean Oreet Ashery? More information can be found in her profile on the Feminist Art Base: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/oreet_ashery.php?i=266"
    By shelley

    "Hi, I am trying to find the name of the artist who took and is in the photograph that follows- http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/exhibitions/664/Global_Feminisms_Remix/image/216/Global_Feminisms_Remix._%7C08032007_-_03032008%7C._Installation_view. I believe the artist takes pictures of herself dressed as a man but then exposes her femaleness, as in the photo of her dressed as an Ascetic Jew exposing her breast. Can you help me find her information? Thanks in advance- Aimee Record"
    By Aimee Record

    "For more information on Louis Schanker and the New York Art Scene of the mid 1900's go to http://www.LouisSchanker.info "
    By Lou Siegel

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.

    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the informative text panels written by the curator or organizer. Called "didactics," these panels are presented to the public during the exhibition's run, and we reproduce them here for your reference and archival interest. Please note that any illustrations on the original didactics have not been retained, and that the text may contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the objects from the Brooklyn Museum collection that were in the installation. These objects are listed here for your reference and archival interest, but the list may be incomplete and does not contain objects owned by other institutions or lenders.
    This section utilizes the New York Times API in order to display related materials in New York Times publications.