Artists replicate Warhol’s influential style

September 17, 2012

Upon entering “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” the new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, visitors are greeted by Andy Warhol’s famed, 1967 Pop Art self-portrait.

The exhibit features approximately 45 works by Warhol and hundreds of works by 59 artists who were inspired by his work, including Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton and Cindy Sherman. Warhol’s influence is evident throughout the exhibit, which juxtaposes his paintings, sculptures and films with works by the other artists who have responded to or reinterpreted his work. The exhibit represents a dialogue between these artists and their work across generations.

The exhibit is divided into five sections with different themes, including “Portraiture: Celebrity and Power” and “Queer Studies: Shifting Identities.” The artists featured in each section built upon Warhol’s ideas that were new to the ’60s, such as mass consumerism and pop culture.

“Regarding Warhol” features creative work in different mediums including a life-sized cigarette box, a video projection of Nintendo clouds and an installation room of brightly colored wallpaper with silver balloons flowing overhead.

“The ‘Warhol effect’ [has a] profound and ongoing impact,” said NYU alumnus Ian Alteveer, the assistant curator for the exhibit.

Alteveer hopes viewers will think about Warhol’s overall impact on art.

“What does the Warhol effect look like, and is it really the case that he is the most influential artist?” Alteveer said.

Alteveer said the artists chosen to represent Warhol’s influence are the best of the best. The selected works support the argument that Warhol helped shape the artistic mind and world. The other 59 artists expand on Warhol’s pervasive ideas, but use their own technique to convey their personal style.

“It seems to me that Warhol’s key influence on other artists is his appropriation of images from popular culture,” said Gallatin professor Lise Friedman, who teaches design courses.

The Met will also present “Warhol Today,” a series of talks, tours and performances from September through December that will analyze Warhol’s influence on contemporary art. The series features concerts presented by musicians Patti Smith and Dean & Britta, a cabaret performance from Kalup Linzy, and talks and gallery tours with Alteever and co-curator Marla Prather.

This is the first exhibit to explore Warhol’s artistic influence to its full extent.

Gallatin freshman Annie Schatzberg is looking forward to the forthcoming opening.

“It’s amazing how [Warhol] changed art into being more of a lifestyle than just something pretty to look at,” Schatzberg said.

“Regarding Warhol” opens to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 18 and will be on display through Dec. 31.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 17 print edition. Kaitlin Christy is a contributing writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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