The prints of Andy Warhol on campus
"Once you 'got' Pop, you can never see a sign again
the same way again. And once you thought Pop, you could never see America
the same way again."
Those are the words of the man who defied originality and
forced Americans to look at the pre-labeled, contrived world in which
they lived. Those are the words of a man who took the faces of celebrities,
the labels of consumerism, and depicted them as idolatrous images of American
In the early 1960's, Andy Warhol developed a technique which
enabled him to enlarge photographic images, transfer these images to silk
screen, place them on canvas, and ink the images from the back. With this
technique, Warhol was able to begin producing series of prints based on
mass media, which opened the eyes of art appreciators around the world.
From the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania comes a smattering
of these prints. The exhibition, entitled The Prints of Andy Warhol (From
A to B and Back Again), will be showing from September 29 to December
23, 2001 in the Twentieth Century and Temporary Exhibition Galleries of
the Walker Art Museum. This overview of Warhol's prints includes portraits
of cultural celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Mao as well as displays
of Warhol's famed Campbell's Soup can labels.
However, before he was a man worthy of a Bowdoin College
welcome, he was Andy Warhola, an up-and-coming graduate of the Carnegie
Institute of Technology. Moving to New York, Warhola gained success as
a commercial artist and had his first big break at Glamour Magazine in
August of 1949. Not only did the magazine launch him into his illustrious
career, it also dropped the last "a" in Warhola when it credited
him for his illustrations in the article entitled "Success is a Job
in New York." It was a small sacrifice to make. By 1955, the newly
christened Warhol was one of the most famous and sought-after commercial
artists in New York.
From his start as a commercial artist, Warhol went on to
produce prints and then experimental movies dealing with repetition, ennui,
and the passage of time. However, regardless of the medium, Andy Warhol
remained innovative throughout his career. He was not an elite artist
floating in the clouds above the masses; rather, he was very much a man
of the masses, a man created by the masses.
"Pop art is for everyone," said Warhol. Anyone
can walk down the street of any city, pick up a crisp Coca-Cola, have
a hearty bowl of Campbell's soup, and see the truth of this statement.
It is about our daily lives, the brands we live by and it is about coming
to terms with "the practical but impermanent symbols that sustain
To welcome Andy Warhol to the Walker Museum, an opening reception will be held on Friday, September 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Walker Art Building.