Friday, April 5, 2019
Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again, The Whitney
Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again sprawls through the Whitney, a retrospective that immerses the viewer in the work of one of America’s most celebrated artists. On the first floor, a darkened room is covered floor-to-ceiling with commissioned portraits of celebrities, artists and models. Each of their faces is lit by a bright square, evoking the feel of a camera flash. On the upper floors, one of the first rooms of the show is plastered with the bright 1964 “Flowers” series set over the 1966 “Cow Wallpaper [Pink on yellow].” The room, a striking example of Warhol’s intense iterative practice, was packed with visitors taking advantage of the instagrammable nature and of the space, their photos becoming yet another iteration of the image.
True to its title, the show spans an incredible range of topics and techniques. As the gallery’s layout guides you through Warhol’s career in a somewhat chronological path, the subjects of the work shift frequently, jumping quickly from identity to branding to brutality. Coming to the end of the exhibition, the walls are taken over by images of violence and his late large-scale abstraction, reflecting the shadow of death brought on by the AIDS crisis. From pops of color and consumer culture to intimate looks at gay life, From A to B and Back Again shows how Warhol's interpretation of America still feels incredibly timely today.