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Exhibition

Sep 20 - Feb 15

2014
MOCA Los Angeles, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, , 90012, USA
  • Andy Warhol, Shadows (detail), 1978-79. Dia Art Foundation. (c) 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation For the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Bill Jacobson Studio, New York.

Gallery

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  1. […] Andy Warhol: Shadows Official press release: MOCA presents Andy Warhol: Shadows, the first West Coast presentation of Shadows (1978-79), a monumental painting in 102 parts. Andy Warhol: Shadows is organized by Dia Art Foundation and coordinated by MOCA Senior Curator … Read more on HGIssue […]

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Andy Warhol: Shadows

Official press release: MOCA presents Andy Warhol: Shadows, the first West Coast presentation of Shadows (1978-79), a monumental painting in 102 parts. Andy Warhol: Shadows is organized by Dia Art Foundation and coordinated by MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson.

Conceived as one work, Warhol’s exceptional series of variously silkscreened and hand painted canvases features two different compositions, ranging in hue from an electric green to a somber brown. Based on photographs of shadows taken in The Factory, the artist’s New York City studio, the Shadows paintings alternate between positive and negative imprints. With few exceptions, “the peak,” or black positive, always appears on a colored ground, while “the cap,” a smaller, colored form, hovers before a black background.

In Shadows, Warhol extended his long-standing interest in seriality and repetition beyond the cultural icons and commodity forms that most often populate his art. He once referred to the paintings as “disco decor,” a nod to the works’ moody, environmental, and propulsive qualities, as well as his well-documented familiarity with Studio 54. Shadows follows Warhol’s experiments with abstraction from the previous year, such as the Oxidation, Rorschach, and Camouflage paintings.

“Andy Warhol’s Shadows are the line between the American dream and the American death. They are as dark as they are glamorous; they are as meditative as they are explosively hallucinatory; they are mourning mirrors with no reflections; they are a long film strip of serial images that evoke experimental film and the drones of the Velvet Underground. They are visual music. It is a very rare event to be able to experience the complete work as Warhol intended and MOCA is deeply grateful to Dia Art Foundation for this collaboration,” said MOCA Director Philippe Vergne.

“The Shadows are one of Warhol’s most mysterious and beautiful works, full of mood and feeling, repeated over and over, not unlike a song. Seeing them all together at MOCA provides a special occasion to consider an artist we think we know from a new angle,” said MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson.

Shadows was first exhibited in January 1979 at Heiner Friedrich, Inc. in New York. The original installation featured a total of 83 panels, 67 exhibited publicly and 16 shown in the gallery’s private back room. Each measuring 76 x 52 inches, installed edge to edge and close to the floor, the final number of panels presented is always determined by the dimensions of an exhibition space. MOCA’s presentation is the second to feature the full collection of paintings.

Andy Warhol (b. 1928, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; d. 1987, New York) grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. From 1945 to 1949, he studied art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, receiving a B.A. in Pictorial Design. In 1949 he moved to New York to pursue a career as a commercial illustrator and began exhibiting drawings and paintings in the 1950s. In 1962 his first solo exhibition, Andy Warhol: Cambell’s Soup Cans, was mounted at the historic Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles and later exhibited at MOCA in 2011. Thereafter his work—which spans prints, drawings, Polaroid photographs, silkscreened canvases, 16mm and Super 8 film, and writing—was widely shown nationally and abroad.