Andy Warhol, Tate Modern - ★★★★★ - Until September 6, 2020

Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol, 1962.

Andy Warhol's fame has certainly extended long past the proverbial fifteen minutes. He probably is one of the most recognised artists on the planet, but there is more to his work than the Campbell soup cans and pictures of Marilyn Monroe. This show focuses on three main aspects of Warhol's identity and sources for his work. His parents' immigrant experience, his own sense of being a sexual outsider and the influence of religion and death are all explored. The exhibition largely develops these themes in a chronological overview of Warhol's life, highlighting the Pop Art period, moving through the Factory, then his 'retirement' from painting, the shooting, his return to work and finally his concern with mortality. We are given a look behind the persona that Warhol so carefully cultivated (wig and all) and see how his obsession with Americana and celebrity culture come from a place that is far more complex than simply satirical humour. His fixation with the Statue of Liberty goes to the roots of the immigrant experience as does his ambiguous presentation of the country's other icons. There is an oft overlooked social and political side to his work, from the early focus on the 1960s race riots and a young girl's suicide to his later commentary in the portraits of China's Chairman Mao and in the collection, Ladies and Gentlemen, which features drag queens and trans womenWarhol was an incredibly prolific creator, and this brilliantly curated exhibition offers us a fascinating look at the arc of his career without overwhelming the visitor. If you've never heard of Andy Warhol (hard to believe) or if you think you know him, you need see this exhibition.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until September 6, 2020
Sun - Thu: 10 am - 4:30 pm
Fri & Sat: 10 am - 8:30 pm
Tate Modern
Nearest tube: Waterloo
https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/andy-warhol

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