Press Release Warhol: Headlines to Open October 14, 2012 at The Andy Warhol Museum

A newspaper filled in with patches of orange, yellow, green, and pink, and floral shapes in those same colors.

Andy Warhol, Daily News, c. 1967, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh,
© 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

For immediate release

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Andy Warhol Museum announces the opening of Warhol: Headlines on October 14, 2012. Warhol: Headlines brings together works that the artist based largely on headlines from the tabloid news. Warhol had a lifelong obsession with the sensational side of contemporary news media, and examples of his source materials for the works of art are presented for comparison, revealing Warhol’s role as both editor and author.

The exhibition features 80 works representing the full range of Warhol’s practice from paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and sculpture to film, video, and television. An important theme that ran through Warhol’s entire career but has never before been examined in a major exhibition, the headline encompasses many of his key subjects, including celebrity, death, disaster, and current events. Warhol’s reach is indisputable, and his visual vocabulary has become a part of the vernacular from which it originally came, making him as ubiquitous as the 24-hour news cycle itself.

This exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Art opened in the fall of 2011, and inspired events throughout the nation’s capital. Dubbed “Warhol Off the Mall,” the festival included showings of I Shot Andy Warhol and a live multi-media performance based on Warhol’s electric newspaper at Busboys & Poets, a popular restaurant and performance space; Downtown Scene NY film festival; and a photo booth where participants donned the iconic fright wigs at the first (e)merge Art Fair. The Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, which showed Andy Warhol: Shadows, partnered for enhanced programming and promotion, calling it “Warhol On the Mall.” The exhibition then traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, where it opened at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in February 2012. In June, Warhol: Headlines opened at the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna, in Rome, Italy.

Warhol scoured newspapers for their stories and images, some of which he saved without using them in his art. Those headlines he made into works of art, presented one epic account of post–World War II America and the media age. He also quoted directly from newspapers, drawing visual reference from the powerful media narratives.

From his drawings in the late 1950s while working as a commercial illustrator through his transition into the fine arts in the early 1960s, Warhol explored the dramatic side of journalism. By including stories on the joys of celebrity royals, as in A Boy For Meg [1] and A Boy For Meg [2]; Hollywood scandals, such as Eddie Fisher’s breakdown in Daily News (1962); and the tragedies of everyday people, as in 129 Die in Jet (1962), Warhol revealed the value assigned to the passions and disasters of contemporary life. By extension, he implicated the reader as consumer of the news. Warhol himself became the subject of front page news both in 1968 when shot by writer Valerie Solanas and again in 1987 on the occasion of his death.

Warhol’s headline works chart the great shift in the technological means employed by the media to present the news, from the printed page to television. Beginning in the early 1960s, Warhol crisscrossed between traditional media (paintings and drawings) and film, followed in the 1970s with video, and in the 1980s with his own cable television shows (Andy Warhol’s T.V. and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes on MTV). The exhibition also includes three Screen Tests, which show the sitters reading the newspaper and his 1974 video diary of Factory superstar Brigid Berlin reading the news.

Later works include Warhol’s black-and-white photographs of newspaper vending boxes, his grids of “sewn” photographs featuring newspaper headlines, significant silkscreened paintings, and his collaborations from the 1980s with younger artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as an episode of Andy Warhol’s T.V in which Haring discusses his own use of tabloid headlines in his first street art interventions.

Eric Shiner, director states, “This intriguing exhibition is a must-see for long-time Warhol fans and new visitors alike thanks to the many facets of Warhol’s art- making process and what it reveals. Warhol was a news junkie of epic proportions – he consumed stories of his age voraciously, and took what he saw as subject matter. Today, long after the headlines of many stories Warhol references in his work have faded, the objects and ephemera highlighted in this exhibition remain, further placing Warhol at the nexus of art, culture, and of course mass media.”

The museum’s chief archivist, Matt Wrbican stated, “The Warhol will include a number of objects that were not included in the National Gallery showing due to availability—or, in some cases, known—until a few months ago. These will help visitors to further understand Warhol’s fascination with the news.”

This exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna, Rome, and the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt.

The Terra Foundation for American Art is the foundation sponsor of the international tour of the exhibition.

This presentation of Warhol: Headlines at The Warhol is made possible by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Warhol receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

The Andy Warhol Museum

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.4 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.