Andy Warhol (Great Masters) by Eric Shanes

By Eric Shanes

Andy Warhol used to be an artist who definitely placed his finger at the pulse of recent tradition. via pioneering various thoughts, yet mostly through the visible isolation of images, its repetition and enforced similarity to revealed photographs, and using garish color to indicate the visible garishness that's usually encountered in mass tradition, he threw a lot direct or oblique mild upon glossy anomie or world-weariness, nihilism, materialism, political manipulation, monetary exploitation, conspicuous intake, media hero-worship, and the construction of artificially-induced wishes and aspirations. additionally, in his top work and prints he was once a truly nice writer of pictures, with an excellent color feel and an excellent suppose for the visible rhythm of an image which resulted from his extreme knowledge of the pictorial prospects inherent in varieties. in the beginning, his pictures may well seem relatively uncomplicated. but due to that very simplicity they not just get pleasure from a excessive measure of rapid visible impression, but in addition own the infrequent energy of projecting large implications in the course of the psychological institutions they set in movement. for instance, the visible repetition that Warhol hired inside an excellent lots of his photographs was once meant, associatively, to parallel the big repetition of pictures which are hired in a mass-culture in an effort to promote items and companies. This comprises autos of communique reminiscent of videos and television programmes. through incorporating into his photographs the very options of mass creation which are crucial to a contemporary commercial society, Warhol without delay reflected better cultural makes use of and abuses, whereas emphasising, to the purpose of absurdity, the total detachment from emotional dedication that he observed all over round him. furthermore, as well as applying imagery derived from pop culture that allows you to supply a critique of up to date society, Warhol additionally carried ahead the attacks on paintings and bourgeois values that the Dadaists had prior pioneered; by means of manipulating photographs and the general public personality of the artist he used to be capable of throw again in our faces the contradictions and superficialities of up to date artwork and tradition. eventually, it's the trenchancy of his cultural critique, in addition to the vivaciousness with which he imbued it, that may without doubt lend his works their carrying on with relevance lengthy after the actual gadgets he represented - comparable to Campbell's Soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles - have probably turn into technologically superseded, or the phenomenal humans he depicted, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Mao Zedong, have grow to be appeared in simple terms because the superstars of the day gone by.

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6 cm, Mugrabi collection. 35. qxp 36. qxp 23/05/2007 01/25/0510:50 1:48AM PM Page Page37 37 Related to Warhol’s affectation of a robotic stance in order to achieve and/or match the objectivity of his visual images, was his affected avoidance of being taken seriously or even of taking himself seriously. One is lead to believe that the artist did not intend to communicate any meanings whatsoever through his works. But it is precisely in Nothingness that his greatest meaning resides, for it testifies to the utter nihilism that Warhol saw in the world around him, a negation that gives his art its acute relevance to the spiritual void in which Western man for the most part resides.

Qxp 23/05/2007 01/25/0510:57 1:48AM PM Page Page55 55 I didn’t want to paint any more so I thought that the way to f inish of f painting for me would be to have a painting that f loats, so I invented the f loating silver rectangles that you f ill up with helium and let out of your windows. With the exception of the packing carton and Silver Clouds sculptures, which obviously related to the anti-art gestures of earlier masters of Dadaism such as Marcel Duchamp, it is possible to divide the majority of works created between 1961 and 1966 into two clear categories.

7 cm, Gemini GEL, Los Angeles. 33. qxp 23/05/2007 01/25/0510:49 1:48AM PM Page Page34 34 25. Black on Black Retrospective, 1979. 9 cm, Mugrabi collection. 34. qxp 25/05/2007 01/25/0510:18 1:48AM PM Page Page35 35 26. Ethel Scull Triptych, 1963. 6 cm, Mugrabi collection. 35. qxp 36. qxp 23/05/2007 01/25/0510:50 1:48AM PM Page Page37 37 Related to Warhol’s affectation of a robotic stance in order to achieve and/or match the objectivity of his visual images, was his affected avoidance of being taken seriously or even of taking himself seriously.

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