Created on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 04:51 Written by Sean Corrado / Staff Writer
The Andy Warhol Museum
Oct. 14 through Jan. 6
Not many people — even art enthusiasts — know that Andy Warhol was a news junkie.
The Andy Warhol Museum opened a new exhibit on the pop artist’s obsession with contemporary news media on Oct. 14. The exhibition, titled “Warhol: Headlines,” features more than 80 works that represent Warhol’s key obsessions, including celebrity, death, disaster and current events.
“‘Headlines’ combines Warhol’s love for newspapers and pop-culture references,” Emily Meyer, the assistant communications manager at The Warhol, said.
Although the artist’s love of news has always been a major theme at The Warhol Museum on the North Shore, there has never been a major exhibition to further examine how deep this journalistic obsession goes. Warhol’s entire arsenal of artistic methods is on display in this new exhibit, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures and film.
Some of Warhol’s showcased works are “A Boy for Meg,” “Daily News (1962),” and “129 Die in a Jet.” Warhol depicted stories of celebrity joy, celebrity scandal and everyday tragedy in his art.
“Warhol: Headlines,” which is organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., debuted in the nation’s capital last fall. Since then, the exhibition has traveled overseas with help from The Terra Foundation for American Art, an international art sponsor.
Last spring, “Headlines” was on display at Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, before it spent the summer at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome.
The exhibit has made its way back to the United States and is closing out its world tour in Pittsburgh, where its artist grew up. Warhol — who was born Andrej Varchola Jr. but later had his name Americanized to Andrew Warhola — lived at 3252 Dawson St. in South Oakland while growing up. For his collegiate studies, he originally intended to enroll at Pitt, but instead obtained a degree in graphic design from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University.
He then headed to New York City to begin a career in magazine illustration, which offered him an opportunity to immerse himself in pop culture and journalism. Warhol lived in New York City from the 1950s until his death in 1987.
After moving to this media-hub city in the ’50s, Warhol himself was featured in a front-page story in the New York Post in 1968 after he was shot in his studio apartment by writer Valerie Solanas and barely survived. The event was an ironic coincidence for the artist, who was obsessed with celebrity and media coverage. Warhol lived in New York City from the 1950s until his death in 1987.
The Warhol gives Pittsburgh viewers a new version of the “Headlines” exhibition that has not been seen before.
“The Warhol will include a number of objects that were not included in the National Gallery showing due to availability — or, in some cases, known — until a few months ago,” Matt Wrbican, the Warhol’s chief archivist, said in a press release. “These will help visitors to further understand Warhol’s fascination with the news.”
There are seven pieces of art that are new to the exhibit. These include “Flash,” which is a depiction of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, and “Andy Warhol Getting a Pedicure,” which is one of the works Warhol completed toward the end of his life.
“Headlines” is attracting many different art enthusiasts for its thematic representation of Warhol’s work.
“It gives viewers a further glimpse into Warhol’s interest in contemporary life through his news-based artworks,” Meyer said.
Sabrina Reed, a Pittsburgh resident, is not a fan of Warhol’s pop art at all. She finds the work somewhat confusing and prefers viewing art at the Carnegie Museum of Art. However, she has been to the Warhol about five times since she has lived here, and the new exhibit might bring her back for a sixth.
“I’m thinking about coming back to see it,” Reed said after finding out about the exhibit from Warhol.org. “It’s nice to see something new every once in awhile.”
The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, which means Pitt students are granted free admission with a valid student ID during the academic year.
Warhol’s “Headlines” is on display until Jan. 6, 2013.