March 2021

Warhol receives major exhibition in China

Mao by Andy Warhol

Warhol’s Mao

Becoming Andy Warhol is set to be “the most comprehensive exhibition by Andy Warhol staged to date in China”. The show will open on 3 July at the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing before travelling to the UCCA Edge in Shanghai.

Around 300 artworks from the collection of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will be on display. A running theme throughout the exhibition is Warhol’s early years and the influence of Pittsburgh on his artistic practice.

The first Warhol retrospective was held in China in 2013, close to 30 years after the artist’s first and only visit to Beijing and Hong Kong in 1982. A major exhibition on Warhol was held as recently as December 2019 at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest – the main stadium of the 2008 Olympic Games. At the time, it was “the largest display of Andy Warhol’s work in China commissioned by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts”.

The Warhol market in Asia peaked in 2017 with the sale of Mao at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 2 April. The portrait of Mao Zedong, founder of the Chinese Communist Party, was bought by an anonymous Asian collector for $12.6 million. It set a new record for the most expensive work of Western contemporary art sold in Asia. While no recent Warhol painting has come close to topping that price, works by the Pop artist feature regularly in auctions in Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai.

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