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Andy Warhol – From A To B and Back Again

Andy Warhol – From A To B And Back Again

NOV 12, 2018 – MAR 31, 2019

Whitney Museum of American Art

Whenever I walk through a Andy Warhol gallery show or museum retrospective I always get the feeling of bearing witness to a freshly painted psych-ward. The pain and distress of most of the now deceased assistants, superstars, drop-ins and hangers-on haunt many of his works, especially the films, alluring. If his paintings could talk oh the vintage drug induced chatter we could hear, the petty rivalries, “did Andy talk to you, what did he say?” and the banal observations that seem so intuitive. Andy Warhol’s oeuvre… pathetic, popular, high, low, gutter, superstar, rock and roll and nursery rhymes. This is what attracts me, the high contrast, the worn silkscreen.

I, like a lot of artists, aficionados and critics have a love, love-hate relationship with the art of Andy Warhol. The Pop, the deconstruction of norms and the overt crass celebrity worship that confiscates most of his later, weaker endeavors have come to define the concept of Art Messiah. Maybe it’s the new Whitney location or the larger galleries to host Andy’s “lesser” mural sized canvases but this particular show had a squeakier clean feel to the works, some of the paintings look as though they had been power rinsed to wash, unload all the unsightly studio grim of the factory era. The work seemed so minty fresh as to have never existed in the fateful sixties. I think a “factory” atmosphere with dirty floors and thread bare couches strewn about and don’t forget the foil ceilings, falling… that would be an amazing, fitting way to see a Andy Warhol exhibition.

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