Adman: Warhol Before Pop

PITTSBURGH—The Andy Warhol Museum announces Adman: Warhol Before Pop, opening April 27, 2018. With the backdrop of 1950s New York and its burgeoning advertising industry, Adman: Warhol Before Pop focuses on the formative years of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. It provides insights into the beginning of Andy Warhol’s career, from his award-winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little-known gallery exhibitions of drawings and artist books. With over 300 objects – from rare drawings and photographs to vintage advertisements, artist books and recreated department store window displays – many on public display for the first time, Adman provides a comprehensive look at Warhol’s first decade in New York.

Children, shoes, album covers, and women’s fashions, dominate this early period of commissioned commercial work and artistic projects. But intimate drawings of young men, archival material from a world tour through Europe and southeast Asia, and drawings produced with his mother, present the complexities of Warhol’s personal journey for success at the start of his career. Foremost to the narrative of this exhibition, Adman lays bare the visual and aesthetic foundation, one dependent on a commercial sensibility, that influenced Warhol’s entire artistic career.

This exhibition is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney and was curated by Nicholas Chambers, senior curator, modern and contemporary international art at Art Gallery of NSW. The exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum is organized by Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s Milton Fine curator of art.

The Adman: Warhol Before Pop exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue co-published by The Andy Warhol Museum and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney. The hardcover, 248 page book includes over 150 illustrations and essays by Warhol scholars and other experts in their field, providing insight into the beginning of Warhol’s career, from his award‐winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little‐known exhibitions. The publication is available at The Warhol Store; call 412-237-8303.

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Andy Warhol, Shoe and Leg (“December Shoe”), ca. 1956, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Exhibition-related public programs

Andy Warhol’s Business Art with Anthony E. Grudin, Alex J. Taylor, and Blake Gopnik
Saturday, April 28, 2018
2 p.m.
The Warhol theater

In conjunction with the exhibition Adman: Warhol Before Pop, Anthony E. Grudin, assistant professor of art history at The University of Vermont, reads from his 2017 publication Warhol’s Working Class: Pop Art and Egalitarianism, which explores Andy Warhol’s creative engagement with social class. During the 1960s, Warhol’s work appropriated images, techniques, and technologies that have long been described as generically “American” or “middle class.” Alex J. Taylor, assistant professor and academic curator at University of Pittsburgh, will present new research on Warhol’s now iconic canvases of Campbell’s Soup cans and his engagement in the 1960s with corporations, specifically, America’s burgeoning packaged food industry.

Following the reading, Blake Gopnik, Warhol biographer and New York-based art critic, leads a Q&A focusing on the points of intersection between Grudin’s latest book, research, and the themes of the exhibition Adman: Warhol Before Pop.
Free

Colorful Horoscopes and Cocktails
Friday, May 18, 2018
6 p.m.
The Warhol entrance space

Co-presented with Journeys of Life
In conjunction with the exhibition Adman: Andy Warhol Before Pop, join us for a coloring party led by artist educators and themed with music, specialty cocktails, and astrology and tarot card readings by Judi Vitale and Angel Lozada, intuitive councilors from Journeys of Life. Sip a cocktail and color shoe, butterfly and cupid drawings just like Warhol did in the 1950s with his friends and fellow artists. Also, enjoy half-price museum admission during Good Fridays and see the special exhibition on the second floor.
Free

Window Dressing: An Evening of Fashion from the Eons Archives
Friday, July 13, 2018
7 p.m.
The Warhol entrance space

In conjunction with the exhibition Adman: Warhol Before Pop, The Warhol hosts a night of cocktails, music, and 1950s fashion, carefully curated by Richard Parsakian, the owner of Eons Fashion Antique. Live models showcasing items from Parsakian’s archive will bring to life works from Adman.

The cash bar will feature Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) crafted drinks inspired by Andy Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola. Fifties cocktail attire is encouraged.
Free

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