Sunday 28 May 2017

Andy Warhol at the Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin

Andy Warhol at the Museum fur Gegenwart (Museum for Contemporary Art), Hamburger Bahnhof.

It was a pleasure seeing some of Warhol's work at the Museum fur Gegenwart as the meaning of his work still mystifies and provokes debate.

Although artists had drawn on popular culture throughout the 20th century, Pop art marked an important new stage in the breakdown between high and low art forms. Warhol's paintings from the early 1960s were important in pioneering these developments.  Furthermore, the diverse activities of his later years were just as influential in expanding the implications of Pop art into other spheres, and further eroding the borders between the worlds of high art and popular culture.

Much debate still surrounds the iconic screenprinted images with which Warhol established his reputation as a Pop artist in the early 1960s. Some view his early work as frank expressions of his sorrow at public events. Others view them as some of the first expressions of 'compassion fatigue' - the way the public loses the ability to sympathise with events from which they feel removed. Still others think of his pictures as screens - placed between us and horrifying events - which attempt to register and process shock.

Friedrich Monument, 1962

Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980

Knives, 1961/1982

Ten-Foot Flowers, 1967

Advertisement, 1960

Double Elvis, 1963

Mao, 1973

a closer look  at the wallpaper

Do It Yourself (Seascape), 1962

Hammer and Sickle

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