ANDY WARHOL, SHADOWS
- “a monument to impermanence” made by the “King of Pop”;
– the most mysterious work of Warhol that offers profound and immersive experiences;
- another ground-breaking one-piece work after the Rain Room at Yuz Museum; an important work from the collection of Dia Art Foundation;
- Asian premiere after touring world’s top museums New York Dia: Beacon, Paris Museum of Modern Art and Bilbao Guggenheim;
- a conversation between 1970s’Shadows and young artists of OVERPOP after 2010
Yuz Museum is proud to organize for the first time in Asia, the Chinese premiere of Shadows by Andy Warhol: “a monument to impermanence” (Holland Cotter, New-York Times). Shadows is valued as the most mysterious work by Andy Warhol, the most influential artist of the 20th century, “the King of Pop”, that shows the unknown side of the artist. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the globally acclaimed Dia Art Foundation, New York. It opens at Yuz Museum, Shanghai on Saturday, 29th October, 2016.
In 1978, at age 50, Andy Warhol embarked upon the production of a monumental body of work titled Shadows with the assistance of his entourage at the Factory. The series formalized earlier explorations with abstraction, but the Shadows panels are silkscreened canvases. To locate the radical implications of Warhol’s Shadows, one must begin with the work’s form: this Shadows series was conceived as one painting in multiple parts, the final number of canvases determined by the dimensions of an exhibition space. The 102 canvases are installed edge to edge. They alternate between positive and negative imprints as they march along the wall of the gallery: within 1000 square meters, the135 meters of walls of the second floor gallery of Yuz Museum are specially designed to host this monumental series. It has become the most complete presentation of Shadows in Asia.
In 1978 Andy Warhol said, “when I look at things, I always see the space they occupy. I always want the space to reappear, to make a comeback”. Far from replicas, each Shadow corresponds to a form that reveals, with precision and self-awareness, its space, directing the spectator’s gaze to light, the central subject of the series.
Founded in 1974, New York Dia Art Foundation is one of the most acclaimed art foundations in the world, and honored as the ultimate destination of minimalist art and land art. 1n 1989, Dia helped create the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh by donating a collection of works to the new entity. In the yuztalk held by the Yuz Museum in May this year – “Dia Art Foundation: from 1974 to present”, Director Jessica Morgan explained: “Shadows remained part of Dia’s collection because the series is so different from other works by Warhol. The more familiar images by Warhol – Marilyn Monroe and the Campbell’s Soup Cans – are independent, individual works. Only Shadows was made as one work, a huge installation formed by 102 panels. It is also an unuasually abstract work for Warhol. The theme is relatively dark, about life and death. The series offers insight into the lesser known side of Warhol.”
In an article about Shadows by the New York Times in 2011, the writer Holland Cotter commented, “its source images make it a monument to impermanence. Its overwhelming darkness gives it a menacing weight.” The article also discovers a surprisingly coincidence between Warhol’s art and the time of internet and social media (that Warhol did not experience). The writer describes the experiences of viewing Shadows, “I saw — and it was news to me — an image of streaming electronic impulses, a futuristic, multidirectional, call-and-response flow of communicative data. The possible reconfigurations seem endless. You’d need cyberspace — where Warhol never was, as far as I know — to hold them all”.
When Andy Warhol: Shadows opens, another major exhibition OVERPOP is presented at the Yuz Museum, featuring 17 artists with newest art after 2010. The connection and echoes between the two heavy weighted exhibitions about Pop, from 1978 to 2016, from King of Pop to Overpop, from heritage to transition…are inspirational. More in-depth dialogues will be developed during the exhibition’s programmes of talks.