Andy Warhol

October - December 2015

Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. from Bologna opens its fall expositive season with a show dedicated to Andy Warhol, ecletic and dynamic artist who, even twenty years after his death, remains one of the most influencial personalities of contemporary art and culture. The exhibition – curated by Franco and Roberta Calarota and strongly promoted by their daughter Alessia, current director of the Gallery – is a tribute to the rich artistic path of a great master from American Pop Art, who was able to have a permanent impact not only on art but also on contemporary music, cinema and fashion. A great revolutionary who, better than anyone else before, understood the features of the XX century society, and changed the meaning of the word "Art" forever.

Retracing the artistic path of Andy Warhol (Pittsburg, 1928 – New York, 1987) means understanding the turning points that have changed the art of our age. The artist was able to catch some of the most intriguing suggestions of the previous art history – from Duchamp's Ready Made decontextualizations to the different repetition by Giorgio de Chirico – to give them a new life, in the context of the economic boom, of the mediatic stars (choosing Marilyn Monroe, Mao Tse-Tung, Jaqueline Kennedy as subjects) and of advertisement (with the famous Coca-Cola bottles or the well known Campbel Soup cans). Bringing the supermarket shelfs into the museum, Warhol evolves Duchamp's teaching about the power of objects decontextualization, sharing with him the idea of taking a piece off its reality and place it somewhere else and becoming the main author of the permanent demolition of those dated barriers bethween high and low (or better "popular") culture. Indeed, "Pop" doesn't mean to create something "popular" or "for the people" but rather to take a look on the mass culture scenary and rase it to the state of art. In order to turn simple objects into icons, Warhol understands the importance of combining the Dadaist estrangement with the repetition practice, once again demostrating his ability to learn from the society he was living in, when mass-production imposed itself. Giorgio de Chirico is the eminent predecessor of the different repetition practice: in the years of Neo-methaphisics, he started to allude to his own operas citing himself. This has direct consequences on Warhol's artistical methods too: in his production painting is slowly abbandoned in favor of serigraphy, which allows him to create serial images just like capitalistic industries do with products for consumers. Whereas in the Forties-Fifites, with Jackson Pollock and Informal Art, manuality and action were the most important part of the work and the artists used to make materic signs on the canvas, now with Pop Art the idea, the project, the thinking are the main parts of the piece, with undeniable consequences on the following art tendences.

The scene created by Andy Warhol is constantly between criticizing and admiring a system that, even though based on a contentious ground, remains an extraordinary example of democracy: "you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too [...]. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good". Galleria d'Arte Maggiore is delighted to host its first monographic show of Andy Warhol, enlighting as usual the connections between historical art and the next generations, carrying on the study of the most relevant protagonists of the world of art and their influences.

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