Sunday, May 18, 2014


The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has re-hung just about everything in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Warhol was, after all, a genius–whatever that is:
We can make do knowing little about Giotto or Vermeer; we can manage without the details of Monet’s life. But Warhol, by being who he was, as much as by making what he made, put himself “at the very heart of what we know as art in the 20th century,” Mr. Shiner said. That art had often tried to bridge the gap between art and life; when Warhol came along, he backfilled the chasm. Figures such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons have waltzed across after him.
Yet there’s a risk that too much attention paid to who Warhol was could distract from the art he made, according to Christopher Bedford, the director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, who recently presented a show on Warhol’s use of photography. Warhol’s ideas about art may have expanded to include aspects of his life, but they are still ideas about art; Mr. Bedford said he felt that the museum has to be careful not to present Warhol as just another “fascinating social figure.”
The moving image:
One of the rehang’s highlights is a fourth-floor media gallery where, for the first time, the public is offered on-demand, uncut access to about 130 of Warhol’s films, videos and TV programs, mostly unfindable until now. “Movies, movies and more movies,” Warhol later recalled. “We were shooting so many, we never even bothered to give titles to a lot of them.”

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