15 Minutes of Fame – Andy Warhol comes to Dulwich Picture Gallery
Andy Warhol is usually associated with New York City – having spent nearly two-thirds of his life in the Big Apple after being raised in Pittsburgh. His art work is scattered through some of the world’s biggest art galleries and homes of the rich and famous. So to find some of the iconic artist’s works in a leafy London suburb is quite a surprise.
For three months, an exhibition of Andy Warhol Portfolios is on display at Dulwich Picture Gallery in Dulwich Village, South London. Located just 11 minutes train journey from central London, the Gallery is the main attraction which draws outsiders to the historic village, which still has its original 18th and 19th century houses and shops.
Dulwich Picture Gallery is England’s first purpose-built gallery and was designed by Regency architect Sir John Soane. It contains mostly European old masters from the 17th and 18th century as well as an ever-changing exhibition rooms.
Andy Warhol: The Portfolios is on show from now until 16 September 2012. The exhibition includes some of Warhol’s most iconic prints – including the Campbell Soup cans and one of the Marilyn Monroe silkscreens in salmon – and lesser known creations from the latter years of his life. While many of his celebrity-orientated images focus on just the face and the identical print in different colours, Warhol’s 1978 prints of boxer Muhammad Ali feature different angles of his face and his powerful fists.
While many associate Warhol with his prints of celebrities, the exhibition features some of his still lifes. I particularly liked the shaded colours of his Grapes (1979), which saw Warhol using diamond dust in his prints for the first time. His Vesuvius (1985) prints were striking – the different coloured prints depicting very different depictions to Southern Italy’s famous volcano.
One of my favourite bits of the collection was Myths (1981) in the fourth and final room of the exhibition. Between Myths and Endangered Species, they were two of the most popular series produced by the artist. He used a combination of stock images, his own photographs and also got actress Margaret Hamilton to reprise her costume as the Wicked Witch of The West in Wizard Of Oz.
Aside from Warhol’s exhibition, there is also the permanent collection, a great cafe and gift shop and an outdoor exhibition of Philip Haas’ Four Seasons sculpture. Or perhaps meander into Dulwich Village or Park across the road.
Haas’ amazing Four Seasons collection depicts Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in 15ft high sculptures in the garden, which is free entry unlike the Warhol exhibition. The American artist was inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Renaissance paintings of the four seasons. While Winter looked understandably miserable – who likes the cold – the Spring was full of hope and joy for warm weather.
- Andy Warhol : The Portfolios runs from 20 June until 16 September 2012 at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich, London SE21 7AD. Nearest rail: West Dulwich (from Victoria) or North Dulwich (from London Bridge).
Due to copyright issues, I am unable to post images of the Warhol exhibition, but the YouTube video below will give you a sneak peek at what to expect.