From A to B and
Nov 12, 2018–Mar 31, 2019
Few American artists are as ever-present and instantly recognizable as Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Warhol understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the role of the artist in society. This exhibition—the first Warhol retrospective organized in the U.S. since 1989—reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, this exhibition reveals new complexities about the Warhol we think we know, and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century.
The exhibition positions Warhol's career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn't slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The show illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons, anticipating the profound effects and issues of the current digital age.
This is the largest monographic exhibition to date at the Whitney's new location, with more than 350 works of art, many assembled together for the first time.
The exhibition is organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, with Christie Mitchell, curatorial assistant, and Mark Loiacono, curatorial research associate.
The accompanying film program is co-organized with the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and curated by Claire K. Henry, assistant curator.
Leadership support of Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again is provided by Kenneth C. Griffin.
Bank of America is the National Tour Sponsor
In New York, exhibition is also sponsored by
Generous support is provided by Neil G. Bluhm and Larry Gagosian.
Major support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; Foundation 14; Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation; The Thompson Family Foundation, Inc.; and the Whitney’s National Committee.
Significant support is provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Lise and Michael Evans, Susan and John Hess, Allison and Warren Kanders, Ashley Leeds and Christopher Harland, the National Endowment for the Arts, Brooke and Daniel Neidich, Per Skarstedt, and anonymous donors.
Additional support is provided by Bill and Maria Bell, Kemal Has Cingillioglu, Jeffrey Deitch, Andrew J. and Christine C. Hall, Constance and David Littman, the Mugrabi Collection, John and Amy Phelan, Louise and Leonard Riggio, Norman and Melissa Selby, Paul and Gayle Stoffel, Mathew and Ann Wolf, and Sophocles and Silvia Zoullas.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Support for the catalogue is provided by Acquavella Galleries and the Paul J. Schupf Lifetime Trust.
The opening dinner is sponsored by
Andy Warhol, Mao Tse-Tung Portfolio, 1972. Portfolio of ten screenprints, 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm) each. Whitney Museum of American Art; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Brant, 74.96.1-10. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This ambitious book is the first to examine Warhol’s work across all media and throughout the entirety of his career. It builds on a wealth of new research and materials that have come to light in recent decades and offers a rare and much-needed comprehensive look at the full scope of Warhol’s production—from his commercial illustrations of the 1950s through his monumental paintings of the 1980s. Donna De Salvo explores how Warhol’s work engages with notions of public and private, the redefinition of media, and the role of abstraction, while a series of incisive and eye-opening essays by eminent scholars and contemporary artists touch on a broad range of topics, such as Warhol’s complicated relationship with the AIDS epidemic, his process and sources, and how his work relates to constructs of self-image seen in social media today.
In the News
“It can be guaranteed that 'From A to B and Back Again' will prove an inescapable cultural event. It also promises an equal intellectual bonanza.”
“To humanize Warhol and get people to actually look at what he made is not as easy as it might sound.’ Now Ms. De Salvo is tackling that challenge in 'Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again,' the first Warhol retrospective organized by a United States museum since 1989.”
—The New York Times
“His 15 minutes of fame will never expire. More than 350 works make up this major retrospective that spans Warhol’s entire career from illustrator to pop icon.”
—Los Angeles Times
“In November, the Whitney Museum of American Art will feature the first U.S. retrospective of Andy Warhol’s art in some three decades, in an exhibition that will occupy a great deal of the institution’s eight-story, High Line-adjacent building.”
—The New Yorker
“De Salvo said she believes that the show will inspire viewers to look past the persona that the artist cultivated during his lifetime.”
“What more is there to learn about this deeply superficial artist? The Whitney’s brilliant curator Donna De Salvo answers the question with the largest Warhol survey ever, featuring more than three hundred and fifty works.”
—The New Yorker