A new Tate retrospective showcases Andy Warhol’s unseen works
Aside from well-known classics, the exhibition features drawings once deemed "too provocative" and celebrates the artist’s contribution to the queer community.
Images courtesy of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Almost 20 years since Andy Warhol’s work was last shown at the Tate Modern, the late artist is set to return to the world-renowned London gallery. Entitled Andy Warhol, the show will feature over 100 works from across Andy’s remarkable career. It will explore how the artist’s experiences helped shape his unique take on 20th century culture, in which he never shied away from expressing his queer identity -- even when homosexuality was criminalised and suppressed in the United States -- making him one of the most remarkable LGBT+ artists to this day.
While he is best known for his iconic paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and Marilyn Monroe (and fans -- do not despair, these will be featured in abundance), the exhibition will highlight recurring themes around desire, identity and belief that emerge from Andy’s archive.
One of the exhibition highlights is a collection of male portraits and nudes from the 1950s, which have never before been exhibited. Created in the 1950s, gallery owners at the time deemed the works too provocative, and they’ve since then been hidden from public view. The portraits provide an intimate glimpse into the interior world and sexuality of the artist, who, despite his reputation as a socialite, was known to be painfully shy and introverted.
The retrospective also includes Andy’s 1975 Ladies and Gentlemen series, consisting of striking depictions of figures from New York’s transgender community at the time. The series includes a painting of iconic performer and activist, Marsha P Johnson -- a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. It will be the first time these vibrant large-scale works will be on show in the UK.
Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol exhibition will run between 12 March - 6 September 2020.