Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal Exhibits in Singapore

by Rosemarie John on April 22, 2012

© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Marina Bay Sands

On showcase from 17 March to 12 August 2012, pop art hits Singapore with the largest collection of iconic works by Andy Warhol. Exhibited in the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, the exposition will showcase 260 paintings, drawings, sculptures, film and video, 25 years after the artist’s demise.

The exhibition, sponsored by BNY Mellon and organized by The Andy Warhol Museum in Warhol’s home town of Pittsburgh, chronicles the breadth of Warhol’s career and demonstrates the scope of his interests. The quintessence of Warhol’s art was the ability to remove the difference between fine arts and the commercial arts used for magazine illustrations, comic books and record albums.

Titled after a quote from the renegade artist himself, “In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes”, Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal marks the first time such an extensive collection is exhibited in Singapore. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a wide range of associated documents, interactive timelines, photographs, and archival material.

The Concept

Working across a wide range of media including photography and sculpture, Warhol was also a highly prolific film-maker, directing and producing more than a hundred films.

Considered one of the most persuasive artists of the 20th century and often remembered for his influence in the visual movement of pop art and famous mass-produced canvases like that of Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s use of silkscreen printing made his work unique and infectious.

Silkscreen printing came closest to Warhol’s idea of art proliferation.

“In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple, quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it. When Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face – the first Marilyns” – Andy Warhol

The Artist

© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Marina Bay Sands

Moving away from the elitist avant-garde tradition, his art is curiously beautiful and icily mechanical at the same time. While also infusing artistic expression through the use of popular culture such as advertisements and brand products, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.

Falling in the category of some of the most expensive paintings ever sold, the highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting was US$100 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Eight Elvises”.

“Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal will show visitors the multiple facets of Andy Warhol’s talents. Art can come in many forms. Andy Warhol showed the world how various mediums and technology can transform everyday items like Campbell’s soup cans and photos into pop art icons. He had an amazing ability to simplify art and make it accessible to the mass public”, said Nick Dixon, Executive Director, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Presenting an extensive range of important artworks from the various phases of his artistic career, visitors to the exhibition will journey through four different stages of Andy Warhol’s life, starting from his early artistic years in the 1940’s to his final works in the 1980’s.

The Last Supper (1986)

While interpreting his art is left solely to the visitor, one can’t help but be intrigued by Warhol’s interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Only displaying one of Warhol’s many takes on this solemn and mystical representation of early Christian art, his piece as always used commercial reproductions as his source material.

© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Marina Bay Sands

Considered by many to be a deeply religious artwork, Warhol’s Last Supper could possibly come off as heretical irreverence to some. While Andy’s rendition is anything but solemn, it is in its own way mystical, for if you admire it long enough, you would soon realise that his approach towards this iconic painting could just hold not one but several hints of deeper meaning.

The Exhibit

To cater to young art enthusiasts, a special display for children will be created based on a similar exhibition Andy Warhol did in 1983 at Bruno Bischofberger gallery in Switzerland.

© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Marina Bay Sands

Visitors young and old will view art from a child’s perspective – toy paintings will be displayed at a lower eye level. This is the first time this form of viewing has been specially commissioned in Singapore.

“We are thrilled to be sharing the work of one of America’s most iconic artists with the people of Singapore. Warhol’s large body of work spanning all artistic mediums is fully accessible to audiences around the globe thanks to his use of universally-recognized stars, commercial brands, and other subject matter”, said Eric Shiner, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Also on display are artworks by South-East Asian artists that highlight the influence Warhol had on modern and contemporary art in the region.

Visitors to the exhibit can also opt to attend a silkscreen painting workshop to immerse themselves in what it is like to paint Warhol style.

Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal will run from 17 March 2012 until 12 August 2012. This exhibition is part of the Asian tour that will travel to five cities over 27 months starting in Singapore. It will then move on to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and finally Tokyo in 2014.

Open daily from 10am to 10pm, visit the ArtScience Museums’s official website for ticket prices. Last entry into the museum is at 9pm.

*Disclaimer: We thank Marina Bay Sands for inviting Travel and Beyond to an exclusive tour of the exhibit at ArtScience Museum. However, as always all opinions expressed are exclusively that of the author.

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