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Andy Warhol. Serial Identity

22 January 2023–18 June 2023

The Exhibition

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MA*GA Museum in Gallarate confirms its focus on American culture by presenting Andy Warhol. Serial Identity, an exhibition curated by Maurizio Vanni and Emma Zanella, dedicated to one of the leading protagonists of Pop Art and contemporary world culture: a painter, illustrator, sculptor, screenwriter, film and t.v. producer, director, cinematographer and actor himself, a figure who radically changed the way we see and perceive our world.

With over 200 works on display, the general public will have the opportunity to learn about one of the most influential and complex personalities who worked in the latter half of the 20th century and, above all, to grasp the continuous evolution of his identity, expressed in a city that changed its appearance and ‘concept’ on a daily basis.

The exhibition opens with a comparison of some generic drawings and his first highly refined advertising drawings of the 1950s, also important in terms of their visual appeal and his awareness of the world of advertising. In the very early 1960s, Warhol began to produce works using the photographic screen-printing technique. Starting from these years, various essential themes appeared in Warhol's work, around which he produced a huge number of works: celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy, iconic portraits in which the awareness of catastrophe, death and loss of identity is often reflected; Death and Disasters, Flowers, the Cow series, Campbell's Soup Can, Dollar Sign.

In 1975, Warhol produced a series entitled Ladies and Gentlemen dedicated to black transvestites, characters fitting for those who, like Warhol, wanted to explore the various aspects of the “Society of the Spectacle”. From the 1970s until his death, Warhol also produced an extensive series of portraits of famous people in the fields of entertainment, art and fashion. Many portraits were created for his friends, including Liza Minnelli and Joseph Beuys, and a consistent part of his work was dedicated to the mythical characters of the American scenario in the second half of 20th century, such as Mickey Mouse and Superman.

In order to show all Warhol’s creative sides, the exhibition project will include the complete series of the vinyl covers that he designed for great bands like The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones, the most famous books that see him as writer and illustrator, and a focus on the iconic Interview Magazine, founded by Warhol in 1969.

An exclusive portion of the exhibition will be dedicated to the filmic and video sperimentation of Warhol as director and TV producer. Among the well-known Silent Movies, an integral version of Empire (1964) and Kiss (1963) will be screened as well as four iconic Screen Tests, featuring characters from art and music environment. In order to give the audience a glimpse of the sparkling and camp aesthetic of Warhol’s universe, the complete Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (1985-87) TV show and three segments of the Saturday Night Live (1981) featuring the artist will be part of this unique section. All the film and TV productions have been borrowed by The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

For the first time in Italy, in collaboration with Ronald Nameth’s Estate, the exhibition will present the immersive media installation of Ronald Nameth’s video Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with The Velvet Underground and Nico, a documentation of the superb 1966 performance that Warhol directed creating a combination where lights, music and art gave life to a unique spectacle.

A special project will take place at Malpensa International Airport – Terminal 1, Porta di Milano, in collaboration with SEA, main partner of the exhibition, with an impressive installation and a compilation of the best segments of Andy Warhol’s T.V. (1980 – 83) show.

The complete exhibition set up both at MA*GA and Malpensa International Airport – Terminal 1 is designed by scenographer Margherita Palli, who works with institutions like Teatro Alla Scala, Milan and Venice Biennale.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an impressive catalogue published by Nomos Edizioni, with historical-critical essays by the curators, Maurizio Vanni and Emma Zanella, by Marco Senaldi for film and television production, by Michela Guasco for Interview Magazine, by Luca Palermo for the section on shows and performances, by Michele Lombardelli for editorial production, by Luciano Bolzoni for the production of vinyl record covers and music.

Andy Warhol. Serial Identity is produced by MA*GA and Spirale d’Idee, Milan, in collaboration with Gallarate municipality and Regione Lombardia patronage. Ricola, Missoni, SEA and Saporiti Italia support the exhibition as main partners.
Media partner: Radio Monte Carlo

© The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film still courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. by SIAE 2022. Courtesy collezione privata.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. by SIAE 2022. Courtesy collezione D.P - L.R.

The Artist

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), was an iconic artist and the pioneer of American Pop Art. He was born in Pittsburgh from Slovakian immigrants, and he first worked as illustrator for fashion magazines like Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. From the 1960s, Warhol began to work as an actual visual artist embracing the sperimental technique of photographic screenprint. For almost three decades, Warhol has deeply transformed every aspect of arts environment, reaching the fame peak as a painter, film director, music and T.V. producer. Andy Warhol’s myth lives alongside the great names of entertainment industry in the 20th Century as Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli, The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones, iconic characters of his impressive artistic production. 

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