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Last modified: Thursday, February 24, 2011

Your 15 minutes start now: IU Art Museum to celebrate Andy Warhol in exhibition opening March 5

Related events include film screenings, talks, guided tours -- and a Factory Night party complete with a Warhol look-alike contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 24, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Everything's coming up Warhol this spring at Indiana University, with films, events and an IU Art Museum exhibition devoted to contemporary art and pop culture icon Andy Warhol.

More than 150 photographs by Warhol (1928-1987) will be displayed in "Shot By Warhol," opening March 5 (Saturday) at the IU Art Museum in the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the first floor. The exhibition will remain on display through May 8.

Andy Warhol

Philippe Halsman, "Andy Warhol"

Drawn from the IU Art Museum's recent gift of more than 150 photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts' Photographic Legacy Program, the exhibition will examine the way Warhol's black-and-white photographs reflected his personal experiences and how his color Polaroids shaped the way others wanted to be portrayed during their "15 minutes of fame." (Warhol famously once said, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.")

On March 4 (Friday), Associate Professor of Art History Richard Meyer of the University of Southern California will present a lecture titled "A Reason to Get Up in the Morning" in Fine Arts Building Room 015 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Meyer considers Warhol's photographic practice as a poetics of everyday life -- when everyday consists of discotheques and dinner parties, flea markets and friends on the phone. Rather than invest in the idea of the single, perfectly composed image, Warhol created an almost continuous stream of pictures, many of which were never published or exhibited during his lifetime. This talk considers Warhol's photographic practice as a visual analogue to his diaries, which will be quoted extensively. The title is drawn from Warhol's statement that "I take my camera everywhere. Having a few rolls of film to develop gives me a good reason to get up in the morning."

After Meyer's talk, IU Cinema will show a 90-minute selection of short 16mm films from Andy Warhol and other "underground" contributors March 4 (Friday) at 6:30 p.m. The films draw upon prints from the university's David Bradley Collection at the Lilly Library and the Kinsey Institute. Nan Brewer, the IU Art Museum's Lucienne M. Glaubinger Curator of Works on Paper, will give a guided tour of the exhibition at 2 p.m. on March 6 (Sunday).

"Warhol was a kind of cultural sponge," said Brewer, organizing curator of the exhibition. "He absorbed inspiration from popular culture, as well as from the art of his contemporaries."

Warhol Happenings

The museum also is hosting a series of free, Thursday evening "Warhol Happenings" in March, all from 8-10 p.m. These events are co-sponsored by the Lucienne M. Glaubinger Endowed Fund for the Curator of Works on Paper and the IU Art Museum's Arc Fund.

  • Warhol Happening I, "Music Night," March 10, Thomas T. Solley Atrium. Local indie band Tammar will play both experimental originals and Velvet Underground cover songs.
  • Warhol Happening II, "Movie Night," March 24, Special Exhibitions Gallery. The Ryder Film Series is co-sponsoring a screening of the 1996 independent film I Shot Andy Warhol (Rated R) written and directed by Mary Harron. The film stars Lili Taylor ("Six Feet Under") as the radical feminist Valerie Solanas who attempted to kill Warhol in 1968 and Jared Harris ("Mad Men") as Warhol.
  • Warhol Happening III, "Factory Night," March 31, Thomas T. Solley Atrium. Attendees will be able to "get their Andy on" by sampling a variety of pop culture snacks, dancing to the music mix of DJ White Light, and glimpsing Warhol's world through a tour of the special Warhol exhibition. "Factory Night" will feature an Andy Warhol Look-Alike Contest (all are welcome), and everyone is encouraged to dress in their retro best, and bring a can of soup to donate to the Community Kitchen of Monroe County.

Known for his reserved nature, Warhol was a keen observer of life, frequently seen off to one side of a social scene -- whether at his famous silver-lined Factory or at a charity event -- watching, often through the lens of a camera. He also was an obsessive collector of objects, people and even of artistic styles. When asked in a 1985 interview if he looked at the work of other photographers, Warhol simply replied, "I try to copy them."

Warhol saved bits of ephemera from his daily activities, stuffing items into boxes he called "time capsules." Starting in the mid-1970s, he began using a 35 mm still camera as his primary means of interacting with and recording his surroundings. Although Warhol grew up around photography -- his older brother, John Warhola (Andy dropped the "a" for his own last name), operated a photo shop in his hometown of Pittsburgh -- it wasn't until the 1970s that he fully embraced the medium as a means of personal expression. He began taking color Polaroids to capture imagery for his portrait commissions. Like the preparatory drawings of traditional portrait painters, these studies served as referential tools rather than as artworks in their own right.

When he picked up an easy-to-use Minox 35EL camera in 1976, Warhol began a love affair with black-and-white photography that would last until his untimely death at age 58. His camera became a constant companion, as familiar a part of his ensemble as his trademark silver wig. He strove to document every moment of his life, creating a remarkable visual diary. Warhol produced a body of more than 150,000 black-and-white negatives and 66,000 prints, including thousands of Polaroids.

For more information on the IU Art Museum, see http://www.indiana.edu/~iuam/iuam_home.php.