Andy Warhol’s photography is on display in a new exhibition titled Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman at the Worcestershire Art Museum.

Andy Warhol Self Portrait

Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman demonstrates photography’s importance in the development and influence of contemporary art in the mid- to late- 20th century, and the “symbiotic relationship” the two forms of art would ultimately enjoy.

Photo Revolution has brought together 225 works that demonstrate how vital photography was to the major art movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The show includes photographs, collages, prints, film and related time-based media, as well as a selection of paintings and sculpture.

The exhibition begins in the 1960s with Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand, who showed how photography could give a window into people’s everyday lives. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol would take this one step further, using representational painting and printmaking—frequently creating works that were either inspired by or mimicking photography.

“Beginning with the rise of Pop art in the late 1950s and, especially after its explosive take-off in the 1960s, it was photo-based media that drove much artistic innovation,” the exhibition says.

 

Andy Warhol, Mao Tse-Tung, 1972, color screenprint, National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan, 1977.91. © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photo Revolution shows how in the 1970s and 80s Cindy Sherman would use photography and the self-portrait to anticipate the millennial culture of the “selfie”, something Warhol had also experiment with previously.

The exhibition states that in the 1960s photography rose to “unprecedented prominence” in contemporary art. This rise was encouraged by movements such as Pop art and the inspiration it took from consumer culture and the day-to-day, and elevated it to artistic status. At this time, photographers and artists alike were beginning to experiment with colour, and collage – most notably Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton.

“By the end of the 1960s, many contemporary artists relied on photography to document their performances and reconsider the possibility of artwork existing outside the confines of the museum,” the exhibition says.

Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman will be on show at the Worcester Art Museum until February 16.

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