Return to Articles

"Self Portrait"


May 25 - August 18 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Downtown

The most significant effort to present and assess the career of Andy Warhol was originated in Germany for presentation at a single venue, Berlin's Neuenationalgalerie. By the time the dust had settled, London's Tate Modern and Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) had been added to a limited touring schedule.

ArtScene is fortunate to present the following selection of original essays written for the occasion of this landmark exhibition, which, rightly or wrongly, presents Warhol as the American Picasso. We thank the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (LACVB), and Robert Barrett in particular, for approaching us with their proposal to develop a special project relating to the exhibition--one which would "allow ArtScene to be ArtScene," as Barrett put it. The staff a MOCA was not only cooperative in providing the writers with required material, but fully receptive to the fact that there would be no constraints placed on their words or opinions. We also thank the American Express company for its financial backing.

Henry T. Hopkins: Warhol at Ferus Gallery, 1962
Hopkins, author of, yes, the first ever review of Warhol's art, recalls the circumstances that lead to it. Plus the original 1962 review, courtesy of Artforum.

Mario Cutajar: The Breach in the Dam
The inherent contradictions of modernist art eventually doomed it. More than anyone else, Warhol broke down the barrier between commercial culture and the sacrosanct precinct from which the banality of that culture had been banned.

Peter Frank: Warhol the Modernist, Warhol the Interdisciplinarian
This exhibition stakes the claim that Warhol may be properly regarded as a Modernist artist. Considering what is NOT included here, it is possible that Warhol turns out to be even more Modernist than this retrospective reckons.

"Shot Blue Marilyn" and cover layout

Betty Brown: 1962, Warhol, Monroe, and the Middle Ages
The traditions that inform the way we view Warhol's depiction of celebrities and commodities are both deeply historical and closely related to troubling tendencies in our economic culture.

Suvan Geer: Completely Human
Geer finds the hype and conjecture that continues to surround Warhol both exhilarating and troubling. The widespread interest in the artist is great, but the tendency to view Warhol in stereotypical terms tends to strip him of his very real struggles and hard earned insights. Hopefully this exhibition will help call attention to this.

Richard Meyer: The Art Historical Problem of Andy Warhol
Reprise: This exhibition stakes the claim that Warhol may be properly regarded as a Modernist artist. In his piece, Meyer argues that this is a reinvention that gets Warhol wrong.