Fresh off the heels of the Whitney Museum’s widely successful Andy Warhol retrospective, the first of such large scale exhibitions organized by a U.S. institution honoring the late artist since 1989, New York’s highly acclaimed Lévy Gorvy gallery is presenting a show dedicated exclusively to Andy Warhol’s portraits of women, ranging from the early 1960s through the 1980s.
Featuring a broad array of subjects denoting Warhol’s every desire, central to the exhibition are portraits depicting fame and celebrity, seen through Hollywood superstars Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland, as well as entertainers such as Debbie Harry, Dolly Parton and Liza Minneli. Fascinated by pioneering, powerful women who wielded power on an international scale, the show also includes portraits of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, writer and arts patron Gertrude Stein, and socialite Ethel Scull; as well as those outside the limelight, such as a 1974 portrait of Warhol’s then-deceased mother, Julia Warhola, and a striking work from Warhol’s mid-1970s Ladies and Gentleman series, depicting black and Hispanic drag queens scouted on the streets of New York City and bars in Hell’s Kitchen.
Furthermore, Warhol Women addresses the late artist’s hallmark use of successive imagery, illustrated by Triple Mona Lisa from 1963 and a sweeping wall of portraits depicting Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis from the early 1960s, as well as Warhol’s rare ability at conveying an aura of intimacy while maintaining a steadfast detachment to his subjects as a result of his signature machine-like, silkscreen process.
Contextualizing Andy Warhol’s artistic oeuvre through topics central to contemporary society, the exhibition inspires questions relating to female empowerment and the construction of identity through images, while addressing a remarkable array of themes relating to supreme glamour, celebrity, desire, adoration, tragedy, race, politics and public spectacle.
Covering the full scope of the American Pop artist’s highly prolific career, Warhol Women, opening April 25th, offers viewers a chance to ponder Andy’s undying obsession yet highly complex and often contradictory relationship with the female subject.