M WOODS is pleased to announce Andy Warhol: Contact, an exhibition of groundbreaking film, photography, and interactive installations by one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. Curated by M WOODS Director Presca Ahn, it is the first in a series of major monographic exhibitions planned at the museum over the next three years.
Illuminating areas of Andy Warhol’s practice never before shown in China, Andy Warhol: Contact features a selection of the artist’s Screen Tests, Polaroids, and Wallpaper, as well as his Silver Clouds and the experimental 1963 film Kiss – works which broke the boundaries of contemporary art when they were first made with the new media of Warhol’s time, and still compel viewers today with their extraordinary immediacy.
“In works like these, Warhol diminishes the touch of the artist’s hand by using mechanical means of production and a standardized or repetitive format,” said Ahn. “Despite this, so many of them radiate a very human, personal, at times even poetic quality. This tension is what makes the works so arresting, even now.”
The exhibition features two bodies of work in which Warhol redefined portraiture: the silent film portraits from the 1960s that he collectively called the Screen Tests, and his portraits of himself and others that he shot on Polaroid film throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. Taking their name from the short films typically made of actors auditioning for film roles, the Screen Tests portray a wide range of artists, celebrities, and Factory regulars such as Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Edie Sedgwick. With the Polaroids, Warhol enacted an obsessive, diaristic documentation of himself and those in his circle, long before the advent of the Internet and social media yielded the phenomenon of the “selfie.”
A highlight of the show is an installation of Warhol’s Silver Clouds, glimmering pillow-like shapes that float gently through the exhibition space. When the work was first shown at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966, viewers were free to touch and move among the Clouds, making it one of the earliest examples of an immersive, interactive art installation. Similarly immersive are Warhol’s screenprinted wallpapers, of which two examples will be on view: Cow (1966) and Self-Portrait (1978).
M WOODS will also screen Warhol’s film Kiss (1963), which shows multiple couples, one after the other, engaged in the act of kissing. The film’s serial format and intrusive framing contrast starkly with the intimacy of the acts portrayed. Revealing how Warhol’s interest in the medium of film went beyond the documentation of celebrity and the self, Kiss forces a cold, anthropological contemplation of this classic expression of human passion.
About the exhibition
Date: August 6, 2016 – January 7, 2017
Venue: M WOODS
Courtesy of M WOODS, for further information please visit www.mwoods.org.