During my first Art History class, upon being overwhelmed by the centuries of art I could draw influence from, I decided then and there I limit my focus to only art created during my lifetime. And while clearly I have not strictly adhered to that (why be so rigid), by and large that’s what I’ve done. And of all the prominent artists of that period, I would generally not list Andy Warhol as one of the best even though I can see his ideological, philosophical and technical ideas all through what I make and how I make it. To this day, the “fine art” conceits I adopted in college, ideas wrapped up in “quality” of craftsmanship, still hold me back from calling him a great artist, while examination of his celebrity, his work, Interview, the Factory and after his death, the Foundation, show quite clearly that is exactly what he was.
And while I consider myself a fairly well informed generalist on the subject of Andy Warhol, there is still much I do not know. So while planning my recent trip South…
…it was with some surprise to discover that the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles was exhibiting a work by Warhol known as “The Shadows.” Surprized because almost thirty years after his death, I had never known that this particular work existed. Even more surprized that is bore a rythmic quality similar to the work I’m making today.
And the surprises continued. From the museum website I had assumed it was only a handful of canvas, but upon stepping into the gallery, discovered it was rather vast, over one hundred canvases.
Instantly came the questions. When was this made? Where had it been? What did it mean?
The following is part of what I discovered, courtesy of the Dia Art Foundation.