8 January 2017

Andy Warhol At Whitworth Art Gallery

Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol

Location: Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester

It was a dreary, rainy January Saturday afternoon, so naturally I decided to spend some time getting cultured AF at my local art gallery: The Whitworth. Just a couple of weeks after the world reeled in horror at Donald Trump being elected in as President, Warhol's dystopian view of capitalism and the falling 'American Dream' arrived in Manchester in the form of a small exhibition called Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol. After being shot and pronounced dead in 1968, Warhol was taken to hospital where he was given an open heart massage and miraculously - came back to life. It's no wonder then that he would go on to spend the rest of his life up until his death in 1987 exploring images such as that of the electric chair, and even self-portraits which would depict self-strangulation. Maybe it does all sound a bit grim, but entering the exhibition with an open mind, I found it incredibly interesting to explore Warhol's image of the world post his near encounter with death.

Andy Warhol's Frankenstein
Movie Poster for Warhol's 'Flesh For Frankenstein' (1973)
Andy Warhol
The Whitworth

The Exhibition
Walking around the art gallery, the exhibition is small but provides an insight into how Warhol was feeling and his views on pop culture as well as death. Capitalism and money signs are shown lightly, with images such as an attractive burger ad, but Warhol incorporates this style even into images which relate to the devil or Christ, showing that behind it all is the inevitable event of death. In this manner, you feel okay with viewing the images -  even the spine tingling depiction of the electric chair is designed with vibrant colours, and the eerie shadows he paints on to his pictures are discofied with silver glitter.

The Whitworth
The Mark Of The Beast
Electric Chair
'Camouflage' (1986)
Are You "Different?"
'Gun' (1981)
Neon Art
Gathering Of Strangers

If you're in Manchester and looking for something to do to fill up a wintry afternoon, Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol is free and open until April. The exhibition teaches a lot about this unique and complex human and his instantly recognisable art work. Have you visited the Andy Warhol exhibition? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and don't forget to follow my social media to keep up to date with all my latest adventures.

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