Thursday 1 January 2015

Love is Enough

Love is Enough, William Morris and Andy Warhol, at Modern Art Oxford.

The exhibition was curated by Jeremy Deller who cites William Morris and Andy Warhol as his two greatest artistic influences.

Various connections are drawn between the two artists. Both Morris and Warhol established printmaking businesses and distributed their work through new forms of mass production, relying heavily on larger systems of production, working with teams of staff. The inner workings of Morris & Co and The Factory were explored in the exhibition. Both artists developed their own individual working methods, Morris through his mastering of craft techniques and his rejection of industrial processes and Warhol through the activities of The Factory, which often parodied the industrial culture of the mid-late 20th century.

While seemingly disparate in their aesthetics, Deller argues that Warhol and Morris were both essentially printmakers keen to popularise art.  As Morris once said 'I do not want art for the few, any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few'.

I personally feel that the connections made are rather tenuous, and that connections can be found between  most disparate artists if one tries hard enough, but it was a highly enjoyable and interesting exhibition. Some of the exhibits were fascinating, and quite a few I had not seen before.

The two walls on either side of the entrance, as you can see in the photograph above, were papered with a Morris wallpaper on one side and Warhol wallpaper on the other. Two of the large exhibition spaces had William Morris wallpaper all over.

The entrance to the Main Gallery was dominated by

Andy Walhol's Map of Eastern USSR Missile Bases (acrylic paint and silkscreen on canvas)

Other exhibits in this room included a lot of Morris' pamphlets: Useful Work Versus Useless Toil, A Summary of the Principles of Socialism written for the Democratic Federation, Chants for Socialists, How I Became a Socialist, The Socialist League - The Manifesto, Monopoly or How Labour is Robbed, and Morris' Socialist League membership card.

Andy Warhol, Electric Chair, 1971

William Morris, Quest for the Holy Grail Tapestries - Panel 6 - the Attainment of the Holy Grail to Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Percival, 1895-86.

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe Tapestry, 1968

Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, 1967

In the Piper Gallery:

Andy Warhol, Flowers (screen print on white paper)

William Morris, Printed Fabric Design - Kennet, 1863

Andy Warhol, Head with Flowers, 1958

William Morris, Lettering designs and borders, 1896

In the Middle Gallery:

Andy Warhol, Shadow (from Myths), 1981 (screen print with diamond dust).

No comments:

Post a Comment