A major exhibition of works by Andy Warhol has been announced.

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) Self Portrait 1986. Photo: © Tate, London 2020

The Art Gallery of Ontario has announced a “blockbuster retrospective” that focuses on Andy Warhol’s personal life, reconsidering the social and political backdrop that influenced Warhol’s art.

“While his pop works of the 1960s are the most famous, Warhol’s engagement with issues of identity, belief and desire in the 50s, 70s and 80s is as relevant and contemporary now as it was in the late 20th century,” said the gallery’s associate curator of modern art, Kenneth Brummel, in a statement.

Coming from a gay, working-class, immigrant background Warhol had a very unique and specific understanding of America and its culture – possibly one of the reasons he chose to catalogue it as he did in his art.

The exhibition spans four decades of Warhol’s life and work and includes his early drawings, experimental films and his iconic images, including those of Marilyn Monroe. It has been organised by the Tate Modern in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Marilyn Diptych © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

Known for amalgamating consumer culture, celebrity culture, countercultural activities, art history and his Catholic beliefs, Warhol’s output revolutionised the idea of what art could be. Brummel said that Warhol’s commentary on identity, belief and desire is as relevant and contemporary as ever

Andy Warhol includes loans from museums and private collections. Some of the highlights in the exhibition include works from his Pop art period including include Marilyn Diptych (1962), 100 Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962), and Elvis I and II (1963/4) and the large-scale canvas Christ $9.98 (positive) (1986).

One of the major themes of the exhibition is Warhol’s sexuality. This is demonstrated with a selection of early male nudes Warhol drew in the 1950s, and his depiction of members of New York’s Transgender community in the 1970s with his paintings Ladies and Gentlemen. 

The exhibition will open at the AGO in March 2021.

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