Museum of Art hosts traveling Warhol exhibition
'Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends' opens Friday
The Tucson Museum of Art's exhibition "Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends," on loan from the Bank of America collection, contains many of Warhol's screenprints of 60s, 70s and 80s celebrities and cultural icons.
To celebrate the arrival of the Warhol collection, TMA will hold an opening reception at 5:30 on Friday. The party will continue at 8pm at the Rialto Theatre, where Powhaus Productions will perform as Under Velvetground and throw a wild afterparty.
Warhol's screenprints were a central element of his project. In fact, the "Factory" got its name from the constant stream of print runs at the studio, where Warhol and his team were constantly printing throughout the Factory era, regardless of whatever else was going on.
The prints in this collection manipulate photo prints with bold color; Warhol was known to paint directly from the tube, instead of employing a traditional painter's painstaking process of mixing color. Elements of collage, drawing and dusting further augment the printed image.
The effect is at once a replication of, and a comment on, commercial art and pop culture. As Warhol began his career as a commercial illustrator, he refuses the modern urge to ironize the figures of popular culture; rather, he interestingly creates a liminal space that can hold both high and low culture, that both reflects and comments on the context of the images' production. This occupation of both positions is the central postmodern gesture.
The Bank of America has one of the largest collections of art in the world. Recently, the bank has recommitted to being good stewards of their vast holdings. "We are pleased to offer this unique program to museums and to share our collection with the widest possible audience," said Rena M. DeSisto, Arts & Culture Executive, Bank of America.
"From our perspective, sharing these pieces of art with the public through our museum partners is the best possible use of the collection. Not only is there a cultural benefit, but we are bolstering institutions which serve as economic anchors for their respective communities."
The host museum assumes the role of programming the exhibition's run. TMA has events scheduled throughout the spring, including a family event March 7 featuring Puppets Amongus, and a gallery walk with Chief Curator Julie Sasse on April 6.
Many works in this collection have never been available for public viewing.