An Homage to the Artist's Cult Moments Marks a New Met Retrospective
Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and fragmented celebrity appear in photographer Leon Chew’s Warhol-inspired still life series, in advance of an epic exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art exploring the pop artist’s legacy. Featuring 150 works from some of the biggest artists of the past half-century, Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years seeks to explore whether the silver-haired provocateur is the most important artist of his time. Engaging with Warhol’s own themes of consumer culture, mass-production and appropriation, curators Mark Rosenthal and Marla Prather have paired his works with conceptual heirs such as John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei (whose branded neolithic urns sit as a celebration of Warhol’s Brillo boxes). “We wanted to juxtapose Warhol with other artists to observe and understand how his example was amplified upon, altered and changed,” says Rosenthal. Working with set designer Robert Storey, Chew riffed on Warhol’s own still life photography by referencing key people, subjects or works associated with the Factory. “They’re ubiquitous objects that speak of life, death, sex and power,” explains Storey. “The objects represent pop culture, which is ultimately timeless and accessible to any generation.”
Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years runs from September 18 to December 31, 2012, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.