Monday, July 18, 2011

The Andy Warhol Museum

Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, PA. The collection of Andy Warhol's was very small, mostly videos that he had created, that mostly documented his life. There was alot of his clothing and various objects that he had owned over his lifetime. There were few actual prints of his, the most impressive were of large skulls, the size of which were over whelming. In a whole it was all very good, but I have to say the best exhibitions were the non permanent ones. One of my two favorites was, 'Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project.'
Here is an excerpt from the museum site about the exhibit:

That Old Black Magic
'The Tarot deck is many things: revered diviner of knowledge, feared revealer of hidden secrets, and critiqued promoter of quackish myth. Regardless of one's take on Tarot card reading, it is certain that the history and imagery of these mysterious cards is ripe territory for contemporary artists to come up with their own interpretations of the 78 personas that make up the standard Tarot deck. And that is exactly what my divine colleague Stacy Engman set about doing as she assembled a group of some of today’s most dynamic artists and asked them to submit a new work based on a tarot card personally assigned by her.
The resulting images are just as whimsical as the readings that emerge from an actual reading of the cards. The amazing group of artists included in the project created cards in a range of media (photography, painting and collage) and each infused an additional sense of allure and magic into this already heavily charged lam of mystery. Not only may viewers enjoy the actual works in the exhibition of the original cards, but they may also take them home in this unique catalogue in the form of a deck of Tarot cards in and of itself!'
The Star by Ryan McGinley

The Hanged Man by Patrick McMullan

The Devil By Thomas Schutte

The Second Exhibition there that I adored was 'The Word of God(ess): Chitra Ganesh's Tales of Amnesia.' There was some really stunning work in this exhibition.
  What I loved also about both of these exhibitions is that they showed the artists research work. For this exhibition there were various Indian books/comic books and Information on the Gods of India. For the Tarot card exhibition, they had a book on magic, alchemy, tarot and such as well as a pack of the old original tarot cards. Its always far more interesting when you can see were the artist was coming from..
Here is another excerpt about 'The Word of God(ess) exhibition from the Warhol site:

The Word of God(ess): Chitra Ganesh is the third exhibition in The Word of God series, which examines major world religions and their texts through contemporary art. Sacred texts are considered by many to be the direct words of God to man. How this Word is passed down and received is dependent on the people, languages and cultures in which it is presented. This series explores the questions: what is the best version of the Word of God; and does the artistic rendering of it enhance understanding or is some essential truth lost in translation?
Chitra Ganesh’s artwork combines different visual languages, cannons and cultures, including comic books, Bollywood cinema and iconic goddesses from Hindu folklore. Ganesh creates cross-cultural narratives about sexuality and power that may sit in comic book frames where interior thoughts are revealed in bubbles or --as in her wall installations-- hover in psychedelic space with three-dimensional elements that protrude into contemporary reality. This exhibition includes artworks based on the comic, Amar Chitra Katha, which Ganesh read as a young person and that is still in print today. The enormously popular comic (over 90 million printed) began in the 1960s to teach children in India and the Diaspora; about Hindu myths, Indian history and culture; as well as to teach children proper behavior through specific characters. Ganesh’s work based on the ACK comics is a 21 part work titled the Tales of Amnesia.

Sugar and Milk

Here is Citra Ganesh's Website:

Unfortunately I could not take pictures of various works in the museum so I have to rely on google. The only photos I could take were of the outside and the first floor, so here you are:

Oh ya, my favorite and what I thought was the most interesting piece of Andy Warhol's was;

 Oxidation Painting, 1978 - Metallic pigment in acrylic medium and urine on canvas - 50 x 200 x 2 in

His Oxidation Painting, which is literally were he or other various assistants/artists peed straight onto the canvas. How the person eats effects the colour pigment of the urine.
Very cool.

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