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Warhol & Diva Exhibition at The Lowry

Liza Minelli, Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Pia Zadora, Jane Fonda and the artist himself in drag

Published on May 5th 2011.


Warhol & Diva Exhibition at The Lowry

One of the twentieth century’s most controversial artists – if indeed the latter word is right for him rather than the phrase social commentator – is making a posthumous visit to The Quays.

Warhol admired and adored the subjects he depicted in his work, immersing himself in their lifestyle and living and breathing the glamour of their existence 

Andy Warhol is coming.

The print-making, film-making, poster-making, epithet-talking, author and occasional painter, was a leading member of the Pop Art crew. He identified how the nature of fame had changed as the power of TV had grown. ‘Celebrity’ had arrived, in all its awful beauty, where fame didn’t have anything to do with talent, but could be a brief flicker of notoriety that, as often as not, was commercially motivated.

This theme is captured by the Lowry’s 'Warhol and the Diva' exhibition. We’re going to get the ex-commercial illustrator’s depiction of the ‘divas’ of his age in silkscreen, Polaroid and film. We even get images of the artist in drag. Ooh la la.

Of course the word Diva is ambiguous. Its origins lie in the world of opera and Prima Donnas. The meaning has now morphed into a general term for a egotistical, demanding and often glamorous girl or woman...or maybe a gay man

This Lowry exhibition stretches the term further to include all men. Thus it features Warhol’s images of Mick Jagger as well as Liza Minelli, Marilyn Monroe and Debbie Harry alongside rarely seen pictures of Pia Zadora and Jane Fonda.

Kate Farrell, The Lowry’s Curator of Special Exhibitions, says: “Exploring Warhol's fascination with the most revered performers of his generation within the context of The Lowry is a perfect match, allowing us to present internationally renowned artwork with an emphasis on the theatrical. Warhol admired and adored the subjects he depicted in his work, immersing himself in their lifestyle and living and breathing the glamour of their existence which offers an incredible body of material for the exhibition.”

There’s a supporting quote to the exhibition, underlining the idea behind the show.

"It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor's finger," said Warhol.  Given her recent death he might have had second thoughts about that, but we know what the Lowry means.

Warhol and the Diva: Sat 25 June – Sun 25 September 2011, the Lowry, Salford Quays. The exhibition is on loan from the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh and other private and institutional collections. The final content is still to be confirmed but the exhibition is set to feature over 20 original screen prints and numerous Polaroid works and supporting material.

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CaptainMay 5th 2011.

Ah Jane Fonda...just then. Right then. Beautiful

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