Warhol exhibition looks at art of icons

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe,  1962
Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, 1962
The Handsome Family. Picture by Brandon Soder

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A major exhibition of nearly 200 works by Andy Warhol is being staged in Southampton.

One of the giants of 20th century art, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) produced paintings, prints, posters, photographs and films, examples of all of which are being displayed across two of the city’s most prestigious art galleries.

Southampton City Art Gallery and the John Hansard Gallery have borrowed works from Artist Rooms, a new collection of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation.

The free exhibition explores Warhol’s fascination with fame and celebrity, giving visitors an overview of his work from 1951 until his death in 1987. Southampton City Art Gallery explores contemporary culture and icons by exhibiting 19 major paintings and a group of 126 prints and posters, alongside an Andy Warhol ‘factory’ style space for young people and families.

The University of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery is focusing on Warhol’s hugely influential film and photography, showcasing rarely-seen stitched photographs, self-portraits and celebrity portraits, alongside iconic film works from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet Member for Leisure Culture and Heritage, says: ‘This will be one of the most significant art exhibitions in Southampton for generations.

‘This exhibition will appeal to devoted fans and young people new to his work.

‘He truly was one of the giants of 20th century art and it is wonderful that his work will be featured in the city.’

Stephen Foster, director of the John Hansard Gallery, adds: ‘Warhol’s impact on modern culture is immeasurable. The themes of his work are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago.’

The free exhibition runs at Southampton City Art Gallery at the Civic Centre (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm) and John Hansard Gallery (daily 10am to 5pm) at the University until June 26.